Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Hosni Mubarak Pleads Not Guilty!

On August 3, Hosni Mubarak, former ruler in Egypt of 29 years, was put on trial. He was being charged with the deaths of many peaceful citizens during a non-violent protest and acts of corruption. An ill looking Mubarak was wheeled into the court room on a hospital bed and put in the defendant cage along with his two sons and six officers. This was the first time that any leader in Egypt was put on trial souly by their own people.
The metropolitan, alternative and community presses covered this international story. Granted that all of the news sources covered the same story, we would think that all the articles would be very similar. This is wrong because the tones and scopes of the articles did vary.
BBC and USA Today both feature similar
videos in their online articles, showing live footage of Mubarak answering "yes, I am here,"..."I deny all these accusations completely." [1] The Guardian's video [5] differed from the others. It had a narratio
n of the accusations held against Mubarak and a brief summary of how todays events came about. They were also the only ones to show footage of what was happening outside of the courtroom. You can see chanting in the streets and hundreds of people out there watching this trial live.
However, the articles had very different slants to their stories. BBC's article focused mostly on the actual trial as in; what was said, some background on chief judge Ahmed Rifaat and how the country responded to the trial. They quoted many citizens who were outside the courtroom, most of whom were very happy to see Mubarak caged and felt it brought them justice. BBC was the only paper to inform us that "The former Interior Minister, Mr Adly, has already been sentenced to 12 years in jail for money-laundering and profiteering." [2]
Almost all of the sources wrote minimal about the rebellion in Egypt on February 10, 2011, then about how Mubarak quickly flew to Sharm el Sheik soon after. It was there that he was hospitalized in april and then flown out to the court room in Cairo where the trial is being held. [3] The only source that differed from this was the article in Haaretz. [3] It quoted many articles that were found in government news papers in the middle east. They did not report on what was actually going on during the actual trial, they wrote more of the logistics of it. Comparing other revolting nations to Egypt such as Syria and Lybia. [3] They spoke about how civil the people of Egypt are being. "The people did not storm the presidential palace, nor did they tear their leader apart in the street. The people ordered him put on trial like any other citizen." [3]Furthermore Haaretz stated how "The court's right to judge the president could continue to prove controversial, since according to the Egyptian constitution, adopted in 1971, only a special court appointed by the legislature can try a president in office. And he can only be convicted by a two-thirds majority of the legislature." [3]
The focus of the article in the Guardian, was magnifying the charges of each of the defendants. It listed all those who were in the defendant cage, Mubarak, his two sons, Hussein Salem who was a business associate of Mubarak, Habib El-Adly, the former interior minister, and 6 police officers. [5]This style was very different from most of the other articles found, especially the one in the New York Times. The NY times focused more on the story of the trial. It started with the scene of Mubarak coming into the courtroom and continued with quoting some of the citizens that were outside the court house such as “We need more than the trial,” said Menna Kamal, 22, an activist at the courthouse. “I still feel I’m a foreigner here. It’s still their country, not ours, not mine.” [4] It went on to explain why Mubarak looked so ill and that he was hospitalized in Sharm el Sheik since april. They also explained that the scene outside the trial was not as many of us would have guessed. There were groups of people who were extremely upset that their "president" was being put on trial and shouting to him “We love you, Mr. President,” [4]
The last source that I read was an article from USA today. This article was very similar the New York Times' because it too explained the scene of the day and had many quotes from bystanders. However this article painted the picture of the trials events a little more vividly. They went into detail including Mubaraks movements, words and the atmosphere in the court room. "From time to time, Mubarak craned his head to see the proceedings. Other times, he crooked his elbow over his face as if in exhaustion. While the other defendants sat on wooden benches in the cage, Gamal and Alaa in their white prison uniforms stood next to their father's bed, at one point with their arms crossed on their chest seemingly trying to block the court camera's view of their father." [1] they said. USA Today were also the only ones to explain that, "Defendants are traditionally held in cages during trials in Egypt." [1]
After reading this story from 5 different news outlets I felt that I had a much broader understanding of the days events. If I were to only read one of these articles my knowledge of the trial would be very one dimensional and I don't think that I would have gotten the entire story. One reporter can't possibly cover every detail about a story and especially not at every angle. This is why reading the same story from many sources can be a lot more informing, afterwards I felt that I had the whole story straight.
[1] "Egypt's Hosni Mubarak in Hospital Bed at Trial -" News, Travel, Weather, Entertainment, Sports, Technology, U.S. & World - Web. 04 Aug. 2011. .
[2] "BBC News - Mubarak Trial: Egypt's Ex-president Denies All Charges." BBC - Homepage. Web. 04 Aug. 2011. .
[3] "Mubarak on Trial / A Correctivenational Experience - Haaretz Daily Newspaper | Israel News." Israel News - Haaretz Israeli News Source. Web. 04 Aug. 2011. .
[4] SHADID, ANTHONY. "At Mubarak Trial, Stark Image of Humbled Power." 3 Aug. 2011. Web. 4 Aug. 2011.
[5] Owen, Paul. "Mubarak Trial – the Defendants and the Charges | World News |" Latest News, Comment and Reviews from the Guardian | Web. 04 Aug. 2011. .

1 comment:

  1. I covered the Mubarak trial for this blog as well, and I agree with your points. None of the five news sources I read even mentioned the revolution in Egypt earlier this year. It's really a shame that The Guardian seems to be the only source with footage of the aggression outside of the courtroom. Before this assignment, I didn't even know Mubarak had any supporters! Most news channels that tackle foreign issues in the Middle East usually portray Mubarak unfavorably. I also felt that after reading five articles regarding the same topic, I am much more informed about the event.