Reporters’ agency and (de) escalation during the 2011 uprising in Egypt: Re-writing the historical role of the news media during the Arab Spring

Khayrat Ayyad 1 * , Jairo Lugo-Ocando 1
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1 College of Communication, University of Sharjah, Sharjah, UAE
* Corresponding Author
Online Journal of Communication and Media Technologies, Volume 13, Issue 3, Article No: e202330.
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After more than a decade of the so-called Arab Spring in Egypt, it is perhaps time to carry out in cold an examination of the role the news media played during the uprising. In so doing, this piece examines the way Egyptian newspapers from the government and opposition reported those events. The study investigates to what extent the newspapers’ coverage of the political events help to de-escalate or escalate tensions. It analyzed the content of two newspapers in Egypt; Al-Ahram, owned by the government and, Al-Wafd, owned by an opposition party. Our analysis included 366 news articles from 105 issues of the selected newspapers during nine weeks of 2011. The finding indicated that the coverage helped to escalate tension, including that of the government-owned newspaper that had more news coverage of this type than the opposition one. We argue that our findings invite further reflection upon normative assumptions regarding the news media editorial position, its relation to power, and individual agency.


Ayyad, K., & Lugo-Ocando, J. (2023). Reporters’ agency and (de) escalation during the 2011 uprising in Egypt: Re-writing the historical role of the news media during the Arab Spring. Online Journal of Communication and Media Technologies, 13(3), e202330.


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