Reshaping the Hegemony : State-Owned Media in Egypt after the Revolution

Bar´el, Zvi

The popular revolution in Egypt has proven that the state-owned media was far from being the public opinion's shaper. Yet, it was the sole arena where intellectuals – or rather ‘confirmed’ intellectuals – could exchange views, shape the hegemonic discourse and dictate the consensus, according to the regime's parameters. That media, and especially the printed press, had crystallized the Egyptian intellectual elite, which by its mere association with the regime has alienated itself from any counter-elite or counter public. Its legitimacy and status stemmed mostly from its political affiliation. My argument is that the survival of the state-owned media after the revolution is not just about functionality, but rather about the survivability of an elite that cannot be replaced. This elite has certainly 'to pay a price' for its betrayal, blindness, lack of courage and neglect. It has to be born again in the same arena where it had committed its 'intellectual crimes' and to create a new hegemonic discourse in the same sphere were the previous regime had corrupted the discourse. However, it is not just about punishing and redeeming the old elites. It is about legitimizing the new discourse that is being created by the revolutionary public. As if the adoption of the new discourse by the state's media will be the ultimate symbol of its acceptance. In my paper, I intend to show the extent of adoption of the new discourse, and the changes in roles of the state's media in legitimizing the new discourse.

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Bar´el, Zvi: Reshaping the Hegemony. State-Owned Media in Egypt after the Revolution. 2012.

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