CAIRO: Independent MP Gamal Zahran filed a request to the chairman of the People’s Assembly (PA) to investigate “the disproportionate media coverage surrounding Gamal Mubarak, son of President Hosni Mubarak and secretary general of the National Democratic Party s (NDP) politics committee.
Zahran condemned the excessive coverage of Gamal, especially during his recent participation in youth seminars in different governorates. According to Zahran, similar visits by members of other political parties were disregarded by the press. “When Gamal Mubarak was in Port Said and Abou Qir delivering speeches, Mahmoud Abaza, chairman of Al-Wafd opposition party, was also in Port Said hosting a huge conference that received no coverage. [Gamal’s] visit, however, was on the front page of every single local newspaper, Zahran told Daily News Egypt.
He further explained that this kind of lopsided media coverage is nothing new. He cited an incident where Gamal and Abaza were attending conferences in Beni Suef and in Shareqeya respectively, but Abaza received “zero coverage.
“This is completely unacceptable; the local press is obliged to provide fair coverage of all news. So why should Gamal Mubarak, who is number 10 in the NDP in terms of his position, receive this coverage while chairmen of other political parties go unnoticed? Zahran asked.
“If he is receiving this kind of coverage because he is the son of the president and not because of his position in the NDP, then this is totally unethical.
Zahran explained that the state-run press is publicly funded and that it is his job as an MP to monitor the allocation of public funds.
“This is why I filed this complaint to the PA and not to the Journalists’ Syndicate, he said.
Zahran believes that editors of state-run newspapers should be sacked. “They have exaggerated coverage of Gamal Mubarak and abuse public resources to promote their political hypocrisy through the newspapers.
However, Zahran is not optimistic about the PA s willingness to even discuss his request.
“I filed some 16 requests over the past three years demanding an investigation into the national press coverage of Gamal Mubarak. They were all rejected.
“PA Speaker Fathi Sorour would refuse to discuss it or would tell me that the issue crosses the limits of what can be discussed in the assembly, Zahran said.