Lingering doubts three years on. Safety dilemmas with the Al Jazeera case in Egypt

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Abstract

The imprisonment of Al Jazeera English (AJE) journalists (Peter Greste, Mohamed Fahmy and Baher Mohamed) in Egypt between 2013 and 2015 highlighted the safety of journalists in conflict zones. Building on other studies (Baker, 2014; 2016), this is the third paper in a longitudinal study analysing the reportage of the AJE case by its own network, the British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC) and the Australian Broadcasting Corporation (ABC). Examining a total of 59 articles from the broadcasters from October 1, 2015 (a week after the AJE journalists’ final release from jail), to September 30, 2018 (three years after Fahmy and Mohamed’s release), this paper investigates whether safety was discussed in post-case reportage. Similar to previous studies’ conceptual framework of normative media theories of the press (Siebert, Peterson & Schramm, 1956; Curran, 2002) and peace and developmental journalism (Carpentier, cited in Cammaerts & Carpentier, 2007), it highlights that the broadcasters’ post reportage about the AJE case did not analyse issues related to the United Nations Economic, Scientific and Cultural Organisation (UNESCO) safety of journalists’ agenda to address issues related to impunity (Pöyhtäri & Berger, 2015, pp. 1-4). This article argues that raising awareness about safety issues in reportage, and in journalism training in the industry and the academy, is one step towards addressing impunity against journalists in conflict zones.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)15-27
Number of pages12
JournalAustralian Journalism Review
Volume40
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 2018

Keywords

  • Freedom of speech
  • safety culture
  • urban communication
  • journalism studies
  • Middle East

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