Governments reach out to people with online video



The current protests that have swept through Egypt have shown the will of the Egyptian people to reclaim their freedom, and to move towards a democratic society.

But what about the will of governments? Hosni Mubarak’s regime has its own TV channel, the state-owned Nile TV . The station has been accused of peddling propaganda by many Egyptian citizens. Despite the huge number of people that have been protesting across Egypt, Nile TV has tried to play down the extent of the protests, broadcasting images of small pro-Mubarak rallies, and streaming coverage from the main bridge into Cairo, which unlike Tahrir square, is empty of protesters or any signs of a revolution.

But what about western governments? The UK, for example, is often heralded across the world for having a completely free press. If Foreign Secretary William Hague makes an important speech about Egypt, it will probably be covered across all the different TV news stations, BBC, ITV, Channel 4, Sky News, etc.

However, the Foreign and Commonwealth Office still thinks that its ministers could do with even more exposure. Foreign Secretary William Hague has taken to publishing video blogs about UK foreign policy towards Egypt. In a post added this morning, he criticised the Egyptian government for the violence which it has used on its own people, insisting that the UK is in favour of seeing a peaceful solution to what it calls “the legitimate demands of the Egyptian people”.

Mr Hague finishes his video blog with a mission statement for the Foreign and Commonwealth Office. He says:

“we continue our work in the FCO to prevent conlfict, bring peace to the middle east, and to advocate human rights, freedom, democracy and more open political systems.”

Do you think it’s a good thing to give ministers an extra platform to explain their policies? Or is the FCO’s online channel no better than the propaganda that Nile TV has been broadcasting to the Egyptian people? Let us know. You can leave a comment at the end of this blogpost or on twitter @onlinevideocity.

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