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Journalism Advocacy: How Three Organizations Responded to Attacks Against Journalists in Egypt
Unformatted Document Text:  Reporters Without Borders used its February 7 statement to call for the immediate release of Kareem Amer, a well-known Egyptian blogger who had been arrested the day before. Amer had recently been released from prison after serving several years for opposing President Mubarak’s government. The group expressed concern that authorities would take this opportunity to send Amer back to prison. Reporters Without Borders also recognized that many foreign journalists had begun returning to their home countries by this time, and the organization was worried “about the possibility of reprisals against local journalists, bloggers and fixers as the international media gradually leave Egypt.” The group appealed “for the utmost vigilance and reminds the authorities that they have a duty to guarantee the safety of all the media personnel trying to cover events in Egypt.” Reporters Without Borders concluded the release with a tally of at least 75 physical assaults and 73 detentions endured by journalists since February 2. 45 Conclusions Reporters Without Borders, the Committee to Protect Journalists, and the International Federation of Journalists issued a total of twenty-nine Egypt-related releases between January 26 and February 7. Even though Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak did not resign from office until Friday, February 11, widespread violence against the media had reached its peak about a week before. Between Tuesday, February 8, and Friday, February 11, CPJ and Reporters Without Borders issued one release each that was directly related to events in Egypt. IFJ issued none. The press releases analyzed in this research performed two primary functions. All three organizations obviously served as advocates for the domestic and foreign journalists who were reporting from Egypt, and the language used in the releases reflected this. Words such as “condemns,” “accuse,” “brutality,” “witch-hunt,” “censor,” and “intimidation” have negative 45 “Arrests continue as foreign journalists start leaving,” February 7, 2011, Reporters Without Borders.

Authors: Cain, Butler.
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Reporters Without Borders used its February 7 statement to call for the immediate release 
of Kareem Amer, a well-known Egyptian blogger who had been arrested the day before. Amer 
had recently been released from prison after serving several years for opposing President 
Mubarak’s government. The group expressed concern that authorities would take this 
opportunity to send Amer back to prison. Reporters Without Borders also recognized that many 
foreign journalists had begun returning to their home countries by this time, and the organization 
was worried “about the possibility of reprisals against local journalists, bloggers and fixers as the 
international media gradually leave Egypt.” The group appealed “for the utmost vigilance and 
reminds the authorities that they have a duty to guarantee the safety of all the media personnel 
trying to cover events in Egypt.” Reporters Without Borders concluded the release with a tally of 
at least 75 physical assaults and 73 detentions endured by journalists since February 2.
Reporters Without Borders, the Committee to Protect Journalists, and the International 
Federation of Journalists issued a total of twenty-nine Egypt-related releases between January 26 
and February 7. Even though Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak did not resign from office until 
Friday, February 11, widespread violence against the media had reached its peak about a week 
before. Between Tuesday, February 8, and Friday, February 11, CPJ and Reporters Without 
Borders issued one release each that was directly related to events in Egypt. IFJ issued none. 
The press releases analyzed in this research performed two primary functions. All three 
obviously served as advocates for the domestic and foreign journalists who were 
reporting from Egypt, and the language used in the releases reflected this. Words such as 
“condemns,” “accuse,” “brutality,” “witch-hunt,” “censor,” and “intimidation” have negative 
45 “Arrests continue as foreign journalists start leaving,” February 7, 2011, Reporters Without Borders.

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