Egyptian Revolution and the Revolution Online

Posted: February 9, 2011 by Hilary Paige Smith in Uncategorized

I can’t log in to Twitter or Facebook without seeing some sort of headline about Egypt. The revolution in Africa has taken these social media circles by storm. “Jan 25,” “Egypt” and “Maburak” have been trending near constantly on Twitter since January 25th.

Though in recent days, the flood of headlines regarding Egypt on Google News has seemed to slow, the information on Twitter seems constant, with much of it coming from citizen journalists and reporters on the ground in Egypt.

The emotions behind Egypt-related posts seem polarized. Some posts are emotional, SCREAMING HEADLINES OUT IN CAPITAL LETTERS, while others are more subdued and seem to provide the exact same information.

One of the most touching posts I saw about the Egypt coverage was from an Egyptian citizen. On her Twitter, she doesn’t try to tout herself as a citizen journalist or photographer, merely providing her take on the revolution through Egyptian eyes. She posted a picture of Christian Egyptians protecting Muslims during prayer time. The photo has been viewed over 350,000 times and he followers on Twitter have climbed to over 4,500.

@NevineZaki updates frequently, and not all of her posts are revolution-related, but the interest in the revolution has still drawn people to her perspective.

I am particularly impressed with the work of Patrick Martin of the Globe and Mail on-site in Cairo. He, along with a fellow Globe reporter, were both detained when reporters were rounded up, providing an interesting experience for readers.

Sonia Verma, the other Globe reporter, shared her first person account of what happened. And though the situation was obviously dramatic, I didn’t feel Verma overdramatized her account of the situation.

I like seeing what people “on the ground” have to say about the revolution, not what people have to say at home. I haven’t been reading accounts of what Egyptians living in Canada have to say. I don’t feel it’s relevant. Maybe I just enjoy the drama and adventure of on-the-ground accounts.

It has been interesting watching history come alive online, especially because this is the first time in history something like this has been documented in this way. It makes me wonder if Twitter posts like the ones I mentioned above will someday make it into the history books.

We’ll see.

  1. Mike Carter says:

    What a picture. I agree with you, the on the ground reports are the best place to get primary, dramatic, coverage of events. Personally, I also like getting secondary reports from Egyptian-Canadian’s. A lot of them (not all) are here for school and work and would very much like to be at home but circumstance works against them.

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