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Contents Free Thinking Issue

Page 3

“Are You A Media Literate?”

Page 4

Shaping Minds

Page 5

“Truth or Profit?”

Page 6

Effective Minorities

Page 7


Page 8


Page 9

Our Staff

Sarah Abaza


Mayar Ibrahim

Carina Khoury

Lucinda Rafla

Free Thinkers | “Think for yourself”

Free Thinking Issue According to a survey prepared by or campaign and answered by people from different generations, 16 years old to older than 70 years old; only 18.52% don’t watch talk shows. Mainly, people watch two talk shows regularly; some watch only one talk show, others may watch 3 or 4 talk shows. Moreover, the majority of those who answered our survey watch talk shows for about 2 hours per week, some extend this period to 4 or 6 hours. There are also those who reach 10 to 12 hours. When asking which presenters they preferred to watch most answers were famous presenters such as Youssri Fouda, Rim Magued, Moataz El Demerdash and Bassem Youssef arguing that;“Moataz El Demerdash delivers different point of view and his guests are well

chosen.” And “Bassem Youssef, was neutral and he had evidence backing up everything he says, he was also very funny” Others, claim that presenters are “all hypocrites.” , and that “No talk show delivers

opinion objectively except maybe Youssri Fouda and Rim Magued ” We can analyze these results by saying that there are people who believe that all talk shows are subjective and others who choose to watch presenters whom they believe to be objective enough about their reports. Indeed, 43.64% believe that talk shows and presenters are more or less objective. However, are they really objective? Is behind the mask of the camera an unbiased opinion with no subjectivity whatsoever? Furthermore, 17 out of 53 think that talk shows influence more or less there opinion and 25 out of 53 responded that it may be the case while 6 persons admit that talk show have an influence on their opinions about news reports. Finally, 79.25% think that talk shows play a role in social opinion conflicts in Egypt. To conclude, this survey is an accurate proof of the presents of the issue of talk show influences. We can say that people are aware of the lack of objectivity in talk shows, additionally, they know it has a major role in social conflicts. Yet, they watch talk shows for 2 to 4 hours per week. In fact, people are aware of the existence of this problem but do they really know what to believe or not to believe? Being aware of an issue doesn’t make you a resolver of it. We usually lack skepticism in our thoughts and beliefs; that’s why you shouldn’t let anything influence you and you should always “think for yourself!”.


Free Thinkers | “Think for yourself”

“Are You A Media Literate?” It is very interesting to think about how we have the capability of receiving media from different places and at the same time. I can be watching a talk show, checking social media, and listening to music that exists somewhere in the background, and all of this in exactly the same moment. But have we ever thought about how can this enormous amount of media that we receive affect our perspective or change our point of view about anything? Do we analyze every type of media that we are being introduced to? or we just listen? If we are not analyzing all types of media that we are receiving then we are considered to be media illiterate. Why do we always watch the talk shows that we only like? That might be because the presenters’ points of view are similar to ours. And if this is true then we be considered biased. We are being biased to our own perspectives and we’re feeding these perspectives with what’s similar to them as to grow strong. But surprisingly we’re not even trying to analyze if these talk shows are providing us with the truth or not. We don’t usually watch talk shows that deliver opposing perspectives in order to gain an over view of whatever is happening, then form our own points of view about it. What if the presenters of the talk shows are just stating what they believe is the truth, while actually it might not be the truth? This would certainly affect how we react to things as media participates in shaping our perspectives, even if it’s unintentionally. We have to start analyzing everything on our own. It’s time for us to be media literates.


Free Thinkers | “Think for yourself”

Shaping Minds… Media has been relentlessly used to propagate or even establish general images about certain societies, ethnicities, religions, etc. Unfortunately sometimes these images perpetuate so rapidly to form what we know today as Stereotypes. In media, stereotypes depend on promoting broad strokes to facilitate communication and common understanding (Vivian). Yet there is an intriguing question that we ought to ask ourselves .., are these stereotypes valid or they merely function as platforms to spread some information with absolutely no regard to their accuracy? Think about the Arabs’ image that is portrayed erroneously in some Hollywood movies like “The Sheik” (1921) and “Son of the Sheik” (1926) that “set the stage for the exploration and negative portrayal of Arabs in Hollywood films” (Simon). Sadly, both The Sheik and Son of the Sheik represented Arab characters as outright villains. Other movies like “A Son of the Sahara (1924)” took a slightly different approach towards the Arab culture. Yet the movie’s plot and theme were simply racist. The movie is about a love story that was almost doomed to failure because of the boy’s Arabic background. Evidently, this movie not only depicts negative stereotypes about Arabs but also promotes racial intolerance. On a more local scale, some religious or political groups are portrayed as outright murders or vicious terrorists. The Muslim Brotherhood in Egypt is a prime example of a political party that now carries a notorious stereotype because of some talk shows’ lack of ethical objectivity. CBC, ONTV and Dream TV are some of the privately owned channels that deliberately deliver only one perspective of the current Egyptian political events through various somewhat biased talk shows and disregard completely the opposing viewpoint (which is in this case the Muslim Brotherhood’s perspective). The audacious TV presenter Yosri Fouda made a statement on his facebook page apologizing for “the media’s detrimental coverage of what is happening in Egypt… my channel included.” (El-Masry) Regardless of globalization and the ease through which someone can correct his or her information, some people are just susceptible to anything that regurgitate among media platforms, especially unjustified negative stereotypes.


Free Thinkers | “Think for yourself”

“Truth or Profit?” Have you ever thought about owning a TV channel? How can all these “Private Owned” channels exist worldwide and still survive? Does this mean that media has turned into private businesses? And if yes, who are the owners of the channels that I watch? And what do they want me to watch in order to gain profit out of that, since they are not nonprofitable channels? All of these questions came to my mind when I came across the word conglomeration. It’s the process in which multiple companies can have a unified owner, but each company still has its own entity. This also means that we might be watching many channels for the same owner. Which also means that we might be receiving a single perspective from several areas and in multiple ways. Or in other words, since TV channels are private businesses and not non-profitable organizations then they must be profit driven and exist in the dilemma of Capitalism; economic system to gain profit. The major question that I have is, do the talk shows that I’m watching deliver the truth, the complete truth or just a specially customized truth in order to gain profit?


Free Thinkers | “Think for yourself”

Effective Minorities?! “Mi•nor•i•ty [count] a : a group of people who are different from the larger group in a country, area, etc., in some way (such as race or religion)” . Regardless of its simplicity, this definition is not only existent in almost all English dictionaries but it is also present in our minds. However, there is a more complicated empirical feature of the word minority that entails the underlying complexities that these people sometimes encounter like facing the spiral of silence theory (being intimidated by the majority’s viewpoint and encouraged into fearful unjustified silence) Ironically, the Muslim Brother Hood and Salfist groups in Egypt did not abide by this theory and started propagating their agenda among different segments of the society. For instance, by launching a Muslim Brotherhood oriented channel called Misr 25 and some other Salfist channels like El- hafez, these supposedly Islamist groups started disseminating their religious and political ideology with absolutely no objectivity through their talk shows like Fel-Mezan, a talk show that previously demonstrated a huge support for Morsy and his policies. Though these groups used religion as a means to fulfill their thirst to power, they succeeded in breaking the former social barriers that were previously attributed to minorities


Free Thinkers | “Think for yourself”

Fun Zone


Free Thinkers | “Think for yourself”

Puzzle: Challenge yourself and test how media literate you are by playing our magazine crosswords puzzle. If you win this game, consider yourself a first-rate media literate! And remember...“Think for yourself”.

Here’s our puzzle link for answers:


Free Thinkers | “Think for yourself”


Free Thinkers | “Think for yourself”

Free Thinkers E-magazine