The Second Chambre of the Press Platform: Evaluation of Newspapers’ performance for the Senate Elections 2020

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Sunday, August 9, 2020

Press Release


FDHRD, in cooperation with the Egyptian Coalition for Human Rights and Development, issues a report on evaluation newspapers’ performance for the Senate elections 2020 under the title “The Second Chamber of the Press Platform.”

This is during the period from July 11, 2020 to August 8, 2020, which is the period from the beginning of the opening of the door for candidacy for the Senate elections 2020, and what was included thereafter from the period for submitting and adjudicating electoral appeals.

In this context, the report stated the following:

Research Methodology

In the context of the continuous pursuit of achieving a kind of methodological integration, the researcher used the following approaches:

  1. Survey Method: It is a major method in research and descriptive studies as a precise and organized scientific effort to obtain data, information and descriptions about the phenomenon under study in its current state. Within a framework of objectivity, orderliness and quantitative manner, in order to measure the variables and objectives set by the study, by studying the material on the subject in question as it was published in the newspapers, analyzing it quantitatively and qualitatively, interpreting it and identifying what it contains of data and information, on the basis of a pre-defined methodological plan that expresses Objectives of the analysis form.
  2. Comparison Method: The study uses the systematic comparison method as a complementary method to the survey method, and because the comparison is a methodological requirement to extrapolate the research results.
  3. Statistical Method: It is considered as a “testing crucible” in which the experimentation process takes place by finding the relationships and interrelationships between the different statistical data.

Methodological Procedures for Content Analysis

After defining the research problem, which is represented in the current: “Assessment of the performance of press coverage for the Senate elections,” the researcher followed the following:

FoundationThe News PaperNumber
Al-Destour Foundation for Press and PublishingAl-Destour (Constitution)1
Al-Masry Foundation for JournalismAlMasry ElYoum (The Egyptian Today)2
The Egyptian Company for Press, Publication and AdvertisingAlYoum ElSabeaa (The Seventh Day)3
Al-Shorouk Publishing HouseElShorouk (The Sunrise)4
Future Publishing, Distribution and Press CompanyElWataan (The Home)5
Arab Center for Research and StudiesElBawba News (The Gate News)6

Time Frame of the Study

The period from July 11, 2020 to August 8, 2020, which is the period from the beginning of opening the door for candidacy for the 2020 Senate elections, and the period for submitting and adjudicating electoral appeals.

Limits of the Report

The report is determined by a number of limits, which are:

• The report is determined by the limits of the goals that it seeks to verify, as well as the limits of its subject matter, as it does not depart from the “assessment of the performance of press coverage for the Senate elections 2020.”

• The report is conducted on (6) newspapers, so the rest of the newspapers fall outside the scope of the current report.

• The report is also determined by the limits of the sample, and therefore the results reached by the current report can provide us with general indicators about the press coverage of the electoral process, enabling us to achieve a kind of understanding, which helps to evaluate the performance of the press with some objectivity, which are of course results that can be relied upon when conducting other studies.

• The study is also determined by a specific time field that has its own circumstances and character, which highlights the importance of continuing to carry out other studies in this field due to the fact that the conditions under which the study was conducted are subject to continuous change.

Newspaper results.

(A) Forms of materials published on elections

The initial results of the process of analyzing the contents that were published in the newspapers subject to the analysis showed an increase in the dependence of this type of newspapers on the news as a form of journalistic treatment of the contents related to the elections, as the percentage of dependence on it reached (46.2%). Newspapers pay more attention to the press story, Al-Dostour newspaper, as the journalistic form accounted for (61.8%) of its total coverage of the elections, followed by Al-Masry Al-Youm newspaper with a similar rate of (61.1%), then the seventh day (59.5%), then Al-Shorouk, with a percentage of ( 54.2%), and Al-Watan (48.1%), with Al-Bawaba News newspaper coming in the last rank with (38.2%).

(B) The main issue of journalistic content

It was proven from the initial analysis that the press coverage of newspapers focused on presenting contents related to the candidates in general, at a rate of (53.9%) of the total coverage of the main issues of the press contents related to the elections. It deals with candidates Al-Masry Al-Youm, as the content related to the candidates amounted to (54.4%) of its total coverage of the elections.

(C) The visual means mostly used

The results also indicated that the most widely used types of headlines were the extended headlines, reaching (83.2%), and the reliance on broad headlines (the headlines) decreased to (5.8%) of the total headlines used in the media treatment of the elections.

For the image, we find an increasing reliance on objective images, as it reached (70.3%) of the total images that were published in the newspapers that were subject to analysis, compared to (29.7%) for personal images, which indicates the availability of a kind of objectivity in the coverage as well as to the enjoyment of this type of newspaper with a kind of freedom of expression.

(D) The source of the press material and the party affiliation of the central figures in the coverage

The initial results revealed that the journalist was the most common source among the sources of journalistic content published about the elections, with a percentage of (72.0%), while the legislative source was the least reliable source of press material with a percentage of (3.9%), and Al-Dostour newspaper topped the list. Analysis newspapers depend on the journalist to reach (80.4%), which indicates the newspaper’s lack of interest in diversifying the sources of the press material, which indicates the extent of confidence that this type of newspaper gives to its editors, who will naturally adhere to the newspaper’s policy, and therefore did not leave this The quality of newspapers is the space that is supposed to be available for the free expression of opinions, and indicates the degree of caution in dealing with issues related to participation in political work.

As for the partisan affiliation of the personalities covered by the coverage, the results showed that the press coverage focused on the Future of the Homeland Party, where the percentage of personalities appearing in their treatments was 33.8%, compared to (26.3%) for the rest of the candidates.

(E) Coverage trend towards the electoral process

As a result of the availability of a kind of balance in the presentation and coverage of news related to the candidates of different party affiliations and ideological orientations, and in line with what was previously reached, it was proven that the trend towards the electoral process was neutral, as the percentage of the trend towards the Future of the Nation Party reached (46.2%), compared to (32.4%) for the rest of the candidates, as it was proven that the most neutral press website is Al-Masry Al-Youm newspaper, while Al-Bawaba News website was the least neutral. Therefore, we can say that the press coverage of the elections in the newspapers was characterized by impartiality and a great deal of objectivity.

(F) Persuasion methods used in coverage

The results showed the predominance of the method of relying on reports as a method of persuasion with one of the points of view, as the percentage of dependence on this method reached (54.2%), compared to (25.0%) for the method of presenting the two points of view, and (20.8%) presenting one point of view either (supporter of the Future of the Nation Party). Or the rest of the candidates), and Al-Dustour was the most dependent on reports with a percentage of (71.7%) of the total treatment, while Al-Bawaba newspaper was the least dependent on this method, reaching (7.4%), and the results also showed that Al-Shorouk newspaper was the most analytical newspaper Using the method of presenting a point of view, and therefore these results reflect that these newspapers are not all yellow newspapers based on the element of excitement and bias.

(G) The type of framework used for covering

The results of analyzing the content of the newspapers in question indicated that the most used media frameworks were the legislative framework, which depends on the presentation of legal views in the electoral process, with a percentage of (33.0%), and the least of these frameworks was the humanitarian framework that depends on the services provided by the candidates with a percentage of (1.0%), and Al-Masry Al-Youm newspaper was the most used newspaper for the legislative framework, where the percentage of using this framework was (31.4%) compared to (15.5%) in Al-Dustour newspaper. Their constitutional right to vote, and it is possible to attribute the legislative framework’s control over the newspapers’ handling of these elections from a specificity, as they are:

• The first elections to be held after the amendments to the Egyptian constitution in 2019.

• The Senate has acquired a different importance than before, in terms of its importance in limiting the hegemony and rush of the First Chamber in order to monitor it and control its trends, in terms of softening the conflicts between the First Chamber and the government, and softening the democratic dynamics in the First Chamber. As well as in building a representative system that secures a better balance in the exercise of power and oversight and the success of the legislative function in terms of ensuring the work of a calm and balanced assembly.


The press coverage, in particular, revealed the existence of bias, and a tendency to focus on covering news related to the candidates of the Future of the Watan Party, and if it tried to highlight otherwise, the reality is that it focused on the conduct and performance of the electoral process nominations for these candidates without highlighting that news related to the rest of the parties. It also neglected to highlight those reasons that prompted some Egyptian political parties to announce not to participate in these elections

Bias appeared in the media coverage of the news of the Senate elections 2020 in the press, through the wide use of positive language biased towards the Future of the Watan Party, and negative formulations with other candidates, whether independents or candidates on the list.

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