The choice of Egyptian Information Minister Salah Abdel-Maqsoud came as a blow to activists, press freedom fighters and journalists who'd suffered under previous oppressive regimes and saw in this Muslim Brotherhood (MB) member a retrograde approach to the media.
As Egypt moves forward into 2012, the tug-o-war between the state and private media will likely continue unabated. But in this stalemate, it appears more networks than ever are beginning to take risks.
Freedom is not condensible. It's a complex mixture of history and the personal experiences of journalists themselves, who in countries both "free" and "not free" exercise varying degrees of self-censorship for varying reasons.
We are in fact still in the Mubarak era. The old regime may not exist in the Egyptian streets or in the offices of government but it dwells deep in the bellies of the bureaucracy that owes it very existence to him.
As a journalist who reported from Tunisia during the Ben Ali era, I can attest to his regime's constraints on freedom of speech and the press. Even checking my innocuous business email account was an ordeal -- I had to go to an embassy to do it.