Sunday 19 October 2014

Al-Ahram Apologises for Mistake

Of interest to anyone who has tried to use Egyptian journalism to follow the situation with the cultural heritage in that country in recent months. Al-Ahram daily, Egypt’s oldest and biggest newspaper, has issued an apology and an explanation for having earlier misquoted, quoted out of context and selectively quoted a New York Times story on Egypt by its correspondent, David Kirkpatrick (the affair is not without its comedic aspects, see: 'Misstated Excerpt of Times Article Offers Fresh Take on President Sisi of Egypt', New York Times Oct 15, 2014) .
 In its statement Al-Ahram regretted that such a grave error would occur at a time when the current editorial management of the newspaper and the organisation as a whole is bent on restoring its credibility and asserting the traditions of proper and ethical journalism based on the highest standards of the profession. It also noted that these efforts are being made at a time when bad practice and low ethical and professional standards are rampant in Egyptian journalism as a whole, which makes reform an uphill battle.  [...]  Sadly, apologies for mistakes have been lacking in Egyptian journalism for a great many years. In issuing this apology Al-Ahram not only corrects a mistake, but also hopes to set an example in restoring the traditions of editorial responsibility to Egyptian journalism in general.

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