A demonstrator makes here position on the constitution known in Cairo. (AP Images)
A demonstrator makes here position on the constitution known in Cairo. (AP Images)

Alhurra TV and Radio Sawa Present Both Sides of the Constitutional Crisis in Egypt

A demonstrator makes here position on the constitution known in Cairo. (AP Images)
A demonstrator makes here position on the constitution known in Cairo. (AP Photo/Nasser Nasser)

Springfield, Va.  — As Egypt faces a pivotal step on its road to democracy, Alhurra Television and Radio Sawa will provide comprehensive coverage of the constitutional referendum vote scheduled for Dec. 15th and 22nd. Alhurra Television and Radio Sawa’s correspondents are stationed across the country to bring the highly anticipated vote to audiences in Egypt and throughout the Middle East. Alhurra and Radio Sawa’s correspondents have reported on both sides of the conflict since Egyptian President Morsi declared sweeping powers that resulted in protestors taking to the streets of Cairo to express their dismay.

“There has been a lot controversy over the new constitution and it has divided Egypt. However, Alhurra and Radio Sawa have provided audiences both sides of the debate through their objective news and discussion programs allowing each side to make their case, so that Egyptians can make an informed opinion,” stated Brian Conniff, MBN President.

Alhurra’s continuous live coverage of the vote will begin on Saturday at 6 a.m. (all times Cairo time) and continue for 16 hours. The network’s coverage will focus on the controversial sections of the proposed constitution including the powers of the president, the role of the judiciary and the army, as well as personal freedoms of Egyptian citizens. Alhurra will also examine the future of U.S. – Egyptian relations in light of the new constitution.  The network’s flagship talk show Free Hour is live from Cairo starting on Dec. 13th and will air special 2-hour episodes on the 14th and 15th. Alhurra’s weekly talk show from Egypt, Hiwar Cairo, will expand to two hours starting at 11 p.m. on Dec. 14th.

Radio Sawa will extend its newscasts on December 15th on both the Egyptian stream and pan-Arab broadcasts to get updates from their correspondents reporting from polling stations across the country. Radio Sawa’s daily 30-minute talk show Magazine will focus on the debate surrounding the proposed constitution in the days leading up to the vote. Free Zone, Radio Sawa’s signature program on freedom and democracy issues in the Middle East, will also focus on the upcoming referendum.

Alhurra.com and RadioSawa.com will have live blogging starting at noon updating readers with the latest breaking news, updates from the reporters in Egypt, reaction from Egyptian citizens and the latest information being posted on social media.

According to international research firms such as ACNielsen, Alhurra and Radio Sawa have a weekly reach of approximately 31 million people. They are operated by the non-profit corporation “The Middle East Broadcasting Networks, Inc.” (MBN). MBN is financed by the U.S. Government through a grant from the Broadcasting Board of Governors (BBG), an independent federal agency.  The BBG provides oversight and serves as a firewall to protect the professional independence and integrity of the broadcasters.

Deirdre Kline
Director of Communications
Middle East Broadcasting Networks, Inc.