Navigating the Boundaries Between State Television and Public Broadcasting in Pre- and Post-Revolution Egypt

Rasha Abdulla


This article navigates the boundaries between state and media in times of transition by presenting a case study of the Egyptian Radio and Television Union (ERTU). Government-owned television has always been used for the interest of repressive regimes in Egypt, where the boundary between public service broadcasting (PSB) and state television has been blurry. ERTU has posed itself as public service media, although its allegiance remains to the state rather than to the people. The January 25, 2011, revolution was a chance for reform, but not much has changed. This article uses personal interviews and qualitative analysis of legal documents to examine ERTU’s legal framework, funding, diversity of content, and editorial independence. It analyzes the situation in terms of the current political context and makes recommendations for turning state television into PSB.


public service broadcasting, public service media, Egypt, state television, democratization, Arab world, media in democratic transition, Arab media

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