The Media and the Making of the 2011 Egyptian Revolution

While views may differ on the factors that made the 2011 Egyptian revolution possible, the role of mass media will remain undisputable. The Internet-based social networks caught the Mubarak regime by surprise, and the popular disillusionment with the ‘national’ media led the public to turn to private newspapers and satellite channels for keeping pace with the events. This paper examines the role of specific media during the 18 days of the 2011 Egyptian revolution – from 25 January to 11 February, 2011 – which we have divided into four parts. It discusses how these media contributed to the unfolding of events, conceptualized the protests and the demands of the public, and presented the actors that participated in or opposed the revolution. These points are addressed by discussing the content of the Facebook pages of the Sixth of April Movement and We Are All Khalid Said, as well as that of a private Egyptian newspaper, al-Shuruq, and the state-run newspaper al-Ahram.1 1 This paper was presented in the conference Covering the Arab Spring, Middle East in the Media – Media in the Middle East at the University of Copenhagen on 1-2 September, 2011. We would like to thank the conference organizers, Ehab Galal and Riem Spielhaus, as well as the two reviewers of Global Media Journal (German Edition) for their useful comments and suggestions.


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