February 1, 2011 / 7:00 PM / in 7 years

Egyptian state TV anchor resigns over demo coverage

CAIRO, Feb 1 (Reuters) - An Egyptian news anchor has resigned from state television after 20 years for what she said was a “lack of ethical standards” in its coverage of Egypt’s mass protests calling for the ousting of the president.

Egypt’s many state channels played down the protests in the first days, but gave them 24-hour coverage from Friday.

Soha el-Nakash said she presented five programmes for state news channel Nile News on Jan. 26, the second day of the protests, and was dismayed the streets of Cairo were portrayed as calm when in fact thousands of people were demonstrating.

”I have decided I will not go back again,“ she told Reuters on Tuesday. ”I left because the state TV coverage of the protests lacked the minimum level of ethical standards.

“During my breaks, I went to join my colleagues who were gathered around TV screens watching other news channels and we all saw ongoing violent mass protests rallying across Egypt,” she said.

Qatar-based satellite channel Al Jazeera was ordered by Egypt’s Information Ministry on Sunday to shut down its operations in the country, and later in the day its signal to some parts of the Middle East was cut.

Egypt has often harassed the Qatar-based channel since it began in 1996, setting off a revolution in Arab media in the face of state-controlled information, but it had never before tried to shut down its operations completely.

At least 1 million people rallied across Egypt on Tuesday clamouring for President Hosni Mubarak to give up power. (Reporting by Saif Eldin Hamdan; Writing by Yasmine Saleh; Editing by Alison Williams)

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