The Revolution in Egypt

Posted: February 8, 2011 by braillebone in Uncategorized

The revolution in Egypt highlights the power of the revolution of communication.

The freedom of expression fostered by social media is extremely powerful because of the high volume of people plugged in; this is news accessible to everyone, because not everyone is as connected to media outlets as a Journalism student, perhaps.

Social media like Twitter, which allows virtually everyone a voice, played a major role in breaking the story of the start of the revolution in Cairo. It is also very telling how powerful it was, since the government in Egypt blocked Twitter and Facebook to attempt to silence its revolutionaries. I’ve read they’ve found ways around this, however, which supports the fact that even in times of severe instability surrounding a dictatorship, the word still gets out.

This is also because of the diligent work of local journalists and foreign correspondents who have dedicated themselves so relaying the goings-on in Cairo to the rest of the world. I’m sure many would agree there isn’t much that compares to watching a revolution unfold. It’s exciting and historical all at once, and those reporting on it do so in a way that makes us care about these people in peril.

As far as the revolution of communications and media, most journalists seem to be embracing all resources available to them. Most, if not all, news sites employ social media tools to promote the sharing of articles and information over the widest spectrum possible. Through this mode of sharing, news is sure to reach practically every demographic connected to the internet.

“Citizen journalists”, those lacking any credentials but with a keen interest in reporting on what they see through amateur photography, video, and blogging, are both a help and a hindrance to professionals. The revolution of social media which has propelled the outbreak of citizen journalism provides a starting point for a potential in-depth story for true journalists, but is also problematic for its likeliness to be overly opinionated or inaccurate.

I’ve been getting my news from The Globe and Mail and CBC, for the most part.


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