WSJ Critique

We’ve all had a curfew.  Whether it was mandatory or voluntary, we have all abided by one at one time or another.  When we were younger curfew laws were put in place for anyone ages seventeen and under.  There were also additional curfew laws enforced by our parents for school nights.  During World War II, in Poland and other areas of Europe, a strict curfew was forced upon all the Jewish citizens.

Due to recent violence, Egypt has enforced a nighttime curfew for all of its citizens.  Regardless of their age, Egyptians are forced to stay within their homes ‘for their own safety’.  With the help of the Associated Press, The Wall Street Journal published an article entitled, “Egypt Eases Curfew, But Maintains Crackdown.”  The WSJ article emphasizes the great concern the Egyptian government has for its people.  According to the Associated Press, “On Saturday Egypt shortened the nighttime curfew causing its people to evacuate to their homes even earlier.”  “Egypt’s interim prime minister vowed that his government’s priority is restoring security.”  By implementing a curfew, I feel as though the situation will worsen.   The premise behind recent outbursts and protests are what some categorize as unfair rules and circumstances.  The more restriction set in place, the more rebellion.  Trust me I would know.  Growing up with very strict, catholic parents caused me to rebel against all the rules they enforced.  This is not to say I disagree with the Egyptian government.  I know, just like my parents, they’ve got their people’s best interest in mind.  Wall Street Journal, however; characterizes the government as the good guys and portrays the Muslim Brotherhood as the bad guys.  It states that if there weren’t so many protesters or if the Muslim Brotherhood wouldn’t exhibit such violence, then the government wouldn’t have to enforce these restrictions.  I find this contradictory because the reasoning behind the prior violence exhibited by the Muslim Brotherhood is due to the effects of the Egyptian military and government.  It’s seems like a continuous, vicious circle. Again, I’m not trying to take anyone’s side, but I feel like this article is being partial to the Egyptian government.

The WSJ conveys all the negative effects of the curfew.  And in doing so the article states that the negativity is a direct result of the ‘violent’ (a word which is used profusely throughout the piece) protesters, especially the Muslim Brotherhood.  According to the article, “The curfew especially has choked Cairo’s bustling night life and the revenue of many businesses, hotels and restaurants.”  When arresting the Brotherhood leader, Mohie Hamed, the article states, “It wasn’t immediately clear what charges he faces.”  The writers elaborated on all of the other quotes except for this one.  I feel this quote, especially, needs further explanation because people shouldn’t be arrested and held in contempt for an unknown reason.  Of course, there could very well have been a reason, but it isn’t stated here.

By the end, the article revolves into a whole other topic.  I don’t even feel like I’m reading the same article anymore.  I’m not putting the blame solely on the WSJ; many other newspapers do the same exact thing.  Many newspapers are afraid to cut parts of articles.  The reason why: possibly they want to outshine the competitors story or maybe there fearful of losing the truth.  Nevertheless, all those additional details aren’t worth it in the end because the truth is the majority of the readers never finish the full article.  Our attention spans stop mid-way.  It’s not a bad thing; we shouldn’t have to read about the extra fluff.  If papers really wanted to include the extra criteria, just write a separate article.


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