Elec­tion me­dia cov­er­age keeps fo­cus on turnout

No ob­sta­cles faced by lo­cal, in­ter­na­tional jour­nal­ists re­ported

The Daily News Egypt - - Election - By Amira El-Fekki

As Egypt’ s pres­i­den­tial elec­tion con­cluded on Wednesday, lo­cal and in­ter­na­tional me­dia cov­er­age closely fol­lowed the three-day poll, par­tic­u­larly keep­ing an eye on voter turn out. On Tues­day, most lo­cal news­pa­pers’ front pages were prais­ing the turnout and show­ing pho­tos of vot­ers and peo­ple wav­ing the coun­try’s flag.

The two can­di­dates in the elec­tion are sit­ting Pres­i­dent Ab­del Fat­tah Al-Sisi and head of El-Ghad party Moussa Mostafa Moussa.

The lo­cal me­dia and press fo­cused on the en­vi­ron­ment sur­round­ing the elec­tion, cov­er­ing crowds singing and danc­ing in front of polling sta­tions and urg­ing peo­ple to vote.

One en­thu­si­as­tic talk show host wore a t-shirt while pre­sent­ing his pro­gramme, which showed both can­di­dates’ pic­tures and a cap­tion in Ara­bic ask­ing peo­ple to par­tic­i­pate in the elec­tion.

Egyp­tian TV sta­tions were cov­er­ing the elec­tion all day, in­ter­view­ing a num­ber of lo­cal and in­ter­na­tional ob­servers. Daily evening talk shows wrapped up each day and cov­ered the last hour of vot­ing at polling sta­tions, as well as the clo­sure of bal­lot boxes.

Some pri­vate news out­lets re­ported “mod­er­ate” turnout in Cairo’s dis­tricts.

As for in­ter­na­tional out­lets, the State In­for­ma­tion Sys­tem (SIS) was par­tic­u­larly mon­i­tor­ing for­eign me­dia cov­er­age, say­ing that in gen­eral, it has been bal­anced. “How­ever, some for­eign me­dia out­lets chose once again to go back to what they pub­lished on the first day of vot­ing that the turnout will be the barom­e­ter of the suc­cess of the process, of­fer­ing an over­all anal­y­sis of the cur­rent po­lit­i­cal land­scape and fu­ture out­look as well,” the SIS said on Wednesday.

Reuters pub­lished daily cov­er­age sto­ries, re­port­ing dif­fer­ent opin­ions from vot­ers who ei­ther sup­ported Al-Sisi or voided their bal­lots.It re­ported slow vot­ing, amid cer­tainty that the pres­i­dent will sweep the elec­tion, and that the gov­ern­ment was seek­ing a high turnout.

CNN pro­duced a video where its re­porter was re­port­ing from inside and out­side polling sta­tions, also talk­ing to some vot­ers, point­ing out the noisy street cel­e­bra­tions and na­tion­al­ist songs played through loud­speak­ers.

For its part, The Tele­graph noted lit­tle par­tic­i­pa­tion of young peo­ple.

AFP, Le Monde, and Le Fi­garo also fol­lowed the elec­tion, em­pha­sis­ing that Al-Sisi is cer­tain to se­cure a sec­ond term. Be­fore the elec­tion, Le Fi­garo pub­lished an ar­ti­cle ti­tled “Moussa, a dis­creet op­po­nent”, point­ing to his last-minute can­di­dacy and doc­u­ments sub­mis­sion.

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