Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Mubarak Trial

This past week news has been circulating about Egypt’s former president Hosni Mubarak. Mubarak and his sons are currently on trial for charges of corruption and for ordering the killing of protestors during the 2011 Egyptian Revolution. The trial was to be held in Cairo on August 3rd, and Mubarak will have to return to Egypt for the first time since his fall from power. I have read articles about this topic covered by the New York Times, BBC, USA Today, FOX News, and The Australian.
At around 5:45pm Eastern standard time, BBC posted updated news on the Mubarak trial. The article was initially a few sentences long and revealed that Mubarak and his sons denied all charges of corruption and killing. (1) Hours later, BBC posted follow-up articles running a few paragraphs long exposing the details of the event. Mubarak’s defense team claimed that his medical condition was very serious and that he may not be able to attend his trail. His condition was so bad in fact, that “he was wheeled on a hospital bed into a cage in court to the astonishment of onlookers outside.” (2) Since the article’s update at around 10:00pm, there have already been 35 comments posted.
USA Today updated their online story of the Mubarak trial about 12 hours before BBC did. The page already has 140 comments as well as a video. The article is lengthy and more descriptive than BBC’s. “Mubarak (…) was wheeled on a hospital bed into the defendant's cage, made of iron bars and a metal mesh. Though he was pale and his eyes were ringed with red, he appeared alert and aware of what was going on.” (3) USA Today also uses quotes from citizens of Egypt about their reactions to the event. Every Egyptian citizen quoted was angry at Mubarak and wished hateful things upon him and his family.
The New York Times online article of the Mubarak trial has also has a video on its page, as well as 73 comments. However, the content of the article is mostly background information. The first few paragraphs focus on the symbolism of this event and its significance in history; only towards the end of page one/beginning of page two is there any mention of the trial details. Of the three articles, the New York Times was the only one to interview supporters of Mubarak. The article revealed that some citizens of Egypt chanted “We love you, Mr. President” and called the trail “an insult to Mubarak and all honorable Egyptians.” (4)
The fourth source I chose was because I wanted to see what insight another country’s news had on the event. The article didn’t have a video like the other sites; instead it had hosted a large gallery of images. The photos expose the violence taking place from outside the courtroom. The citizens in opposition of Mubarak had open aggressions to the citizens in support of Mubarak. The article focused mostly on the perspective of the citizens, along with their reactions and responses. There was little mention of Mubarak’s health or condition.
The fifth source I chose was Fox News. I thought it would be an interesting article to read because Fox is rumored to have a ‘republican bias.’ The content of the article was much like the other sites, containing some details about Mubarak’s life and some quotes from Egyptian citizens. However, at times, it seems that the author was a bit opinionated. “Though he was pale and his eyes were ringed with red, (…) he was awake, alert and even had a moment of his characteristic defiance, wagging his finger as he denied the charges.” (5) No other news source claimed that Mubarak had a defiant character or ‘wagged his finger’ when denying the charges.
In summary, I felt all five articles were well written and very informative.

[1] BBC - News Middle East. "Day of Reckoning for Egypt's Mubarak as trial begins." ( Web. 04 Aug. 2011.

[2] BBC - News Middle East. "Mubarak trial: Egypt's ex-president denies all charges." ( Web. 04 Aug. 2011.

[3] USA Today, The Associated Press. "Egypt's Hosni Mubarak in hospital bed at trial." ( Web. 04 Aug. 2011.

[4] Shadid, Anthony. New York Times. "At Mubarak Trial, Stark Image of Humbled Power." ( Web. 04 Aug. 2011.

[5] Fox News - Africa. "Egypt's Mubarak Denies All Charges Against Him." ( Web. 04 Aug. 2011.

The Austrailian - World. "Response to Mubarak trial mixed across Arab region." ( Web. 04 Aug. 2011.


  1. I find it very interesting that the NY Times only gave background information and chose to include quotes from Mubarak supporters. I think it is important to read more neutral news sources such as the NY Times so that you can form your own opinion. I think most American's agree with the angry Mubarak protesters, because the man did do terrible things, but news should be objective and people have a right to form their own opinion, rather than taking an opinion from a news reporter.

  2. It’s very interesting to see such a huge event from different perspectives. I like the fact that you took note of how many reader comments where on each article. I think it shows that audience feedback can be an important part of the story. The high number of comments that appeared on the articles in such a short period of time perhaps reflects how significant the trial is. I also found it interesting that only the NY Times mentioned the Mubarak supporters. I was surprised that the supporters were so outspoken, I had heard of a few Mubarak supporters before but I thought it was only a handful of people. I looked into it a little bit and found this article that suggested that many of the Mubarak supporters were in fact employees of the government at one time.