Al Jazeera calls for bloggers to spread Egypt news

Following the closure of its Cairo office by the Egyptian government, Arab broadcaster Al Jazeera is asking those in Egypt to use social media to get the word out about the country's ongoing protest movement.

Al Jazeera

With its own news outlet cut off in Egypt, Al Jazeera is urging the country's citizens to use blogs, social media, eyewitness accounts, and videos to tell the world what's going as the protests against President Hosni Mubarak continue, according to the Associated Press.

Yesterday, the Arab news network's Cairo office was closed down and its broadcast signal cut off to some parts of the Middle East following complaints by Egyptian authorities that Al Jazeera's 24-hour coverage of the uprising was slanted toward the protesters and as such could incite more unrest.

Along with the office's closure, six of its journalists were briefly taken into custody before being released today, however, their camera equipment has been seized by the Egyptian military, according to Al Jazeera. The journalists are part of Al Jazeera's English-language channel, a sister operation to its core Arabic service.

On Sunday, Al Jazeera expressed "utter disappointment" of the blockage of its broadcast signal and said today following the arrests of its journalists that "if anything, our resolve to get the story has increased." So far, Al Jazeera said it has been able to maintain coverage of the situation in Egypt with fixed-position cameras and news reports by phone, said the AP report.

Al Jazeera has been one of many news networks and outlets trying to provide live video coverage of the wave of protests against the Egyptian government. But that effort and the efforts of citizens trying to spread the word through social media have been stymied by the government's shutdown of the Internet and other critical lines of communication.

About the author

Journalist, software trainer, and Web developer Lance Whitney writes columns and reviews for CNET, Computer Shopper, Microsoft TechNet, and other technology sites. His first book, "Windows 8 Five Minutes at a Time," was published by Wiley & Sons in November 2012.

 

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