Yosri Fouda to halt production on talk show out of ‘respect’

Prominent media professional Yosri Fouda has decided to halt production on his talk show aired on the privately-owned channel ONTV.

On his Twitter account, Fouda said on Thursday, “I stopped my talk show because I respect you. Details concern only me, while the audience cares about my work only.”

This is the second time Fouda has stopped production on his show during the interim period run by the ruling military council, which has been accused by activists of crackdowns on journalism and freedom of expression.

In October, Fouda apologized for not presenting one of his episodes, saying he was on leave. He then issued a statement against growing pressure after an episode of his show about the armed forces’ reactions to peaceful protests was pulled off the air, saying that the atmosphere was not appropriate.

Meanwhile, former member of the dissolved Parliament and vice chief of the Wasat Party Essam Sultan claimed he was a deciding factor in Fouda’s decision to halt his show.

In press statements, Sultan said, “I have a high appreciation to Yosri Fouda — because the fact that I was banned from appearing on his talk show was one reason he stopped producing it, but especially because he and those like him are bright candles in a media that is full of fear, humiliation and business.”

Sultan had earlier posted a statement on Facebook about receiving apology from ONTV for not being allowed to appear on Tuesday’s show.

Although he didn’t go into detail, Fouda’s statement on Twitter ended speculation on reasons for his absence, after official statements from ONTV over the past two days had attributed the halting of production to Fouda’s exhaustion.

Dozens of media professionals and journalists had protested in October against what they called the “military censorship” of the media. Protests also occurred when the independent Al-Tahrir newspaper was published with the notable absence of three of their best-known writers, including Belal Fadl, Omar Taher and Naglaa Bedeir.

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