Alhurra and Radio Sawa continued their exhaustive coverage of the epic events in Egypt despite continued restrictions on Internet access and the harassment and intimidation of Alhurra’s journalists by pro-government mobs on the streets of Cairo. Unidentified individuals entered Alhurra’s Cairo news bureau earlier today and threatened to kill Alhurra’s two on-air journalists. The bureau was immediately closed. Similar threats were made at the production facility for Alhurra’s flagship program “Al Youm.”
Alhurra and Radio Sawa’s coverage of these events in the Arab world’s most populous country has been exemplary in its depth and breadth. Alhurra carried Secretary Clinton’s comments following the violence in the Egyptian capital Cairo, where supporters of President Hosni Mubarak clashed with anti-government protesters furious over President Mubarak’s decision not to step down, live with simultaneous translation. Alhurra and Radio Sawa’s coverage also focused on the social issues that gave rise to the crisis and the humanitarian problems faced by the protesters in Tahrir Square.
A sample of one of Alhurra’s reports from Tahrir Square can be found at http://www.youtube.com/alhurra
Alhurra and Radio Sawa have both extended their broadcasts to stay on top of a quickly developing story.
Not only are the outlets covering breaking news, but they are broadcasting interviews with key Egyptian leaders such as Mohamed ElBaradei, Egyptian government opponent and former United Nations nuclear official; Ayman Nour, longtime dissident and former presidential candidate; Abdel Atheem Darwish, Managing Editor of the preeminent Egyptian newspaper Al Ahram; Mustafa Elsaeed, former Economic Minister; Sayed AbdelAal, Head of the National Democratic Assembly and Majdi Al-Daqaq, Member of the ruling party.
From the U.S, both outlets provide American perspectives on events in Egypt through interviews with politicians, scholars and other experts. For example, Alhurra was the first Arabic network to break the news of several updates from the U.S. including: Sen. John Kerry’s remarks imploring Hosni Mubarak not to seek reelection. The network also interviewed Sen. Ben Cardin (D-MD) and Rep. Keith Ellison (R-MN)
Alhurra has also looked at the story from other angles, including the role of social media in organizing young protesters and Google’s launch of an Internet-free workaround for Twitter users in Egypt, whose Internet and cell phone service have been disabled.
Prior to the protests, a majority of Alhurra’s Facebook fans were based in Egypt. However, despite the lack of Internet in Egypt, the daily visits to Alhurra.com has increased 540 percent.