Media Tycoons in Egypt

Media Tycoons in Egypt

Business has found its way to media landscape in Egypt, bringing to the forefront tycoons who own large news outlets
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Egyptian businessman Najib Sawiress

Business has found its way to media landscape in Egypt, bringing to the forefront tycoons who own large news outlets, shape public opinion and have the last say in what should or should not be presented to the viewers. These media big heads go about their business from behind the scenes, content to be the ones who pull the strings of most of media content in the country.

Recently, more and more news networks came into being and quickly gained a foothold, shaping public opinion and increasing their popularity.

The following is a detailed breakdown of some of these leading figures who call the shots in media sphere in Egypt and who wield an important clout when it comes to people’s perceptions of public life.

Najib Sawiress

A prominent businessman who started investing in media over the last decade during the rule of Mubarak.

In addition to media, he has also investments in telecommunications. He co-owns with businessman Saleh Diab the newspaper of Al Masri Al-Yum (Egypt Today), one of the most widely read private newspapers. He is also the owner of On TV.

Ibrahim El Muallem

Owner of number one publishing company in the Arab world, “Dar Shuruq”. He also owns Shuruq and Tahrir newspapers (the first appeared before the revolution and the second after it).

Mohamed Al-Amin

The most intriguing businessman working in media, Al-Amin’s financial investments in this sector are not known to the public and all the information available about them, though unconfirmed, point to his relation with the former regime.

He started investing in print journalism in the aftermath of the revolution, launching Al-Watan newspaper. The editor-in-chief of Al-Watan is Majdi Jallad who was the editor-in-chief of El Masri Al-Yum.

He also entered broadcast media and launched CBS and Nahar channels and bought shares in other TV channels.

These investments which give him a big chunk of media market raised eyebrows about the real objective behind them, especially that they are not expected to have good returns on short and medium terms.

Mohamed Abu El Ainain

Like Al-Amin, businessman, Mohamed Abu El Ainain, who was also a leading figure in the dissolved former ruling party of Mubarak, launched Sada Al-balad newspaper and a news channel with the same name.

Ahmad Bahjatt

His main investments are in household and electronic appliances and realestate.  He is also one of the first businessmen who entered TV broadcast market and launched Dream TV network.

Hasan Rateb

A former leading figure in dissolved party of Mubarak who has investments in number of sectors, most notably in realestate. He is also was one of the early businessmen who got a license to establish a private TV broadcast in Egypt. He is the owner of El Mehwar TV which lost too much ground because of its pro-Mubrak stance during the revolution .

El Sayyid El Badawi

He is the leader of El Wafd party and one of the leady investors in pharmaceutical industry in the country. He owns El Hayat TV network.  

Media Before and After the Revolution

1-    Media is still largely controlled by the state, either through ownership or pressuring the owner of media outlets.

2-    Professionalism is another major challenge facing media in the aftermath of the revolution, which makes training journalists a priority going forward.

3-    Revolutionary forces are sidelined from media and enjoy limited influence and appearance in it, given that most media outlets are either owned by the state, businessmen or independents and former regime personalities.

All rights reserved, Doha Centre for Media Freedom 2013

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