CAIRO: “The field of communication has run of opportunities,” business tycoon Naguib Sawiris told the CBC channel Saturday, after he acquired 53 percent of Euronews and sold his stake in Mobinil, an Egyptian mobile services.
The Egyptian billionaire said he is seeking an “added value,” adding that after his Orascom Telecom Media and Technology became one of the biggest ten communications companies globally, he decided to manipulate opportunities in the field of media.
“We cannot say that either the CNN or the BBC reports the news with an impartial outlook. On the contrary, they adopt a specific viewpoint and follow it and do not listen to other opinions,” Sawiris said, citing an interview with the CNN’s Christiane Amanpour in January 2014. He claimed she cut him off and “did not want to listen” to him.
Sawiris secured the deal with the multilingual news outlet at almost $40 million, days after selling his share in Mobinil to French Orange S.A. for $233 million.
However, confidential negotiations for over half of Euronews shares “were not easy,” and a free editorial policy was a “basic condition,” said Sawiris, who is a communication engineer.
“Our problem [in Egypt] is that we talk to each other and fail to send our voice abroad,” he said, underscoring having ties with stations “ready to report various opinions.”
He emphasized he picked an influential station, saying Euronews is “readily impartial” and would be taken to “new horizons” by a plan outlaid by its executive director.
Sawiris added that “biased new outlets eventually reach a deadlock,” citing Al-Jazeera as an example of an outlet viewers choose to “see the Muslim Brotherhood’s view on Egypt.”