Press: Groping for News from Cairo

As the world strained to hear, the networks became the story

It was just past noon in Paris. A reporter for Agence France-Presse, the French news agency, was monitoring a routine radio broadcast from Cairo describing a military parade attended by Egyptian President Anwar Sadat and other dignitaries.

Suddenly a cacophony of explosions, machine-gun fire and anguished screams jolted him upright in his chair. Then, just as abruptly, the radio fell ominously silent.

Within moments, at around 7:10 a.m. Eastern Daylight Time, news services around the world were carrying the first bulletins: someone had...

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