The editorial, by the English-language news outlet’s editor Rania Al Malky, questioned the use of anonymous sources and the purpose of Al-Shorouk’s article.
Started in 2005, Daily News Egypt describes itself as Egypt’s “first and only independent English-language daily.”
As Al Malky explained, the headline “alone was enough to trigger the ensuing feelings of indignation that rocked the nation and resulted in a call to go back to Tahrir Square for a million man march.”
Al-Shorouk’s article reported that Mubarak was getting ready to apologize on TV “for any wrong-doing based on false information imparted to him through his aides and advisers.” Mubarak was also to announce he would turn over “all his property and assets to the Egyptian people so that he could obtain amnesty.
But, the sourcing for the article is questionable, according to Al Malky. Al-Shorouk’s claims were backed by anonymous “official and Arab sources,” “Gulf Sources” and a “military source.
Al Malky questioned if the army or Mubarak’s people “leaked” the story to serve their own interests. She explained her issues with the story, which include the “lack of adherence to accuracy standards for factual reporting,” fact-checking and “reliable sources.” Al Malky also advised that the newspaper should have gotten an on-the-record comment.
According to Al Malky, this isn’t the first time Al-Shorouk has reported a questionable story. In April, the newspaper claimed General Tantawy told Der Spiegel “Arab countries are forcing the council not to prosecute Mubarak,” but the newspaper and officials claim that interview never happened.
As a result of these questionable stories, Al Malky suggested that “vigilant readers and observers” may believe Al-Shorouk “does not in fact have the public interest in mind.”
iMediaEthics has written to Al Malky and Al-Shorouk for further comment and will update with any response.
Full Disclosure: iMediaEthics’ publisher and founder Rhonda Roland Shearer served on the board of trustees of Egypt’s Bibliotheca Alexandrina where Mrs. Hosni Mubarak served as the chair. Shearer is currently on the advisory committee.