State broadcasting has always been highly centralized in Egypt, since the introduction of radio in 1934, followed by television in 1960. Over time this centralization has proven stifling, as the associated bureaucracy and concentration of operations in Cairo have limited the quality and relevance of programming. With the introduction of satellite television into the region in the 1990’s and, more recently, the proliferation of new media, the decline of national broadcasting in the country has accelerated. With problems associated with inefficiency, performance and financial sustainability, there have been many attempts to come up with a solution to the issues facing Egyptian broadcasting.
For the first episode of the Arab Media & Society Podcast, Managing Editor Sarah El-Shaarawi speaks with Hafez Al Mirazi, a veteran of Arab and international broadcasting and Director of the Adham Center for Television and Digital Journalism at the American University in Cairo about why reforming Egyptian national broadcasting is essential to its survival.