Egypt No Longer Safe For Journalists

Over the past day and a half, Egypt has transformed from a thrilling dream story for journalists into a place where being a journalist is seriously hazardous. First the physical attacks; now, the arrests. A quick rundown, below.

  • Yesterday: Anderson Cooper and his camera crew are attacked and beaten while filming in Cairo.
  • Katie Couric narrowly escapes a restless mob.
  • An angry group chases Christiane Amanpour's crew into a car, and smashes the windshield.
  • Vice magazine's Cairo correspondent gets roughed up trying to cover the protests.
  • Andrew Burton, a photographer on assignment, wrote this account of being engulfed and beaten by a pro-Mubarak crowd yesterday. "I dont know a single journalist heading out on the ground today," he says.
  • Today, it's becoming clearer that there's been an organized campaign to intimidate journalists. The NYT says that all foreign press has been asked to move out of hotels around Tahir Square in Cairo, the site of the largest protests. And beatings have now evolved into detentions: "The Committee to Protect Journalists was investigating at least 10 cases of reporters being detained."
  • "Two reporters working for The New York Times were released on Thursday after being detained overnight in Cairo."
  • The Washington Post's Cairo bureau chief and a photographer were "among two dozen journalists arrested this morning by the Egyptian Interior Ministry."
  • Two Al Jazeera reporters were attacked while working, and a Greek journalist was reportedly stabbed.
  • Two Canadian reporters for the Globe and Mail were arrested and held for several hours by the Egyptian military.
The Egyptian revolution is not going to be as easy and TV-friendly as hoped. This doesn't mean that reporters are going to stop covering it. But, at least for the moment, the journalistic tactics will probably start resembling those used during the bad days of the Iraq War.

[Photo: AP]