The Arab Spring, remember? Egyptians protested the Mubarak regime only to get a new one with al-Sisi. Perhaps the moment was lost. Al-Sisi’s problem was the support for the Muslim Brotherhood within the Egyptian population. In a free election they might have gained control so he set about to crush them. Democracy has to be earned as well as the rule of law, and these concepts have never been institutionalized in Egypt. You cannot simply hand democracy to a country and expect it to flourish. Freedom is not free. Now al-Sisi is trying to eliminate the last bastion of the free press in Egypt, Mada Masr in Cairo. The Committee to Protect Journalists reports that Egypt is among the leading countries in jailing journalists. Read: “Police Raid Egypt’s Last Independent News Outlet” – WSJ (11/25/19). Opportunity lost it seems for the goal of the Arab Spring in Egypt. We can only hope that it is not too late. Revolutions have a life of their own as demonstrated in the French Revolution. L’Ancien Regime was overthrown only to institute Napoleon. Photo for this blog is: “Egyptians Protest in Tahrir“, Cairo, Egypt (July 12, 2011). Photo essay by Joseph Mayton for DPI.
“…the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.” These words are enshrined in the First Amendment to the Constitution. The operative word, of course, is “peaceably”.
Editorial photography presents difficulties in two basic areas. The equipment. In past decades, photographs taken by paid staff photographers from the media had a distinct advantage compared with amateur equipment as the costs were beyond the reach of the average person. Improvements in digital photography regarding camera phones as well as digital cameras with wi-fi ability has made it possible for photographers to capture both still images and HD video and distribute it worldwide in real time. As a result, paid staffers are being replaced by freelancers and stringers as an increasing number of print media outlets no longer see the need to retain large payrolls. The problem of quality of the images will always separate the professional from the amateur. It is not enough to simply possess the equipment, but rather the talent behind the lens which makes one photograph superior to another.