The Arab press

Two good stories on the Arab press came out recently: this IRIN one looks at the regional situation, whereas this one looks at the situation in Egypt specifically. It quotes one analyst as saying the estimated debt of state papers amounts to $1.4 billion. Incidentally, when I was in Morocco I read that the Arab Union of Journalist was going to set up a press freedom watchdog in Rabat. It's being done with the help of the Ministry of Communications there, and the head of the AJU is former Al Ahram supremo is Ibrahim Nafie, so I'm not sure how credible it'll be. Still, I suppose it's a start.
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Issandr El Amrani

Issandr El Amrani is a Cairo-based writer and consultant. His reporting and commentary on the Middle East and North Africa has appeared in The Economist, London Review of Books, Financial Times, The National, The Guardian, Time and other publications. He also publishes one of the longest-running blog in the region, www.arabist.net.