Magazine Journalism’s Darker Façade Abroad, Part II
Egypt closes ‘blasphemous’ magazine.
Last year, I wrote a post about prosecutors raiding the offices of a French auto magazine which allegedly published unauthorized pictures of a yet-to-be-unveiled new car. Authorities confiscated computers and documents containing names and contacts of sources, and arrested one staffer.
Today, I read a story about how an Egyptian court withdrew the publishing license of a monthly magazine it said published a poem two years ago that included “expressions that insulted God.”
Foreign authorities shutting down or censoring magazines and newspapers, unfortunately, is nothing new. But what caught my attention was the last line of the BBC report, quoting the Egyptian court’s official ruling: “Freedom of press … should be used responsibly and not touch on the basic foundations of Egyptian society, and family, religion and morals.”
WHAT!? If that’s the case, I’m not sure what Egyptian journalists are allowed to write about.
One more time: I’m happy that I’m a journalist working in the U.S. , where freedom of the press is, at least most of the time, respected.