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The Story of Egypt: Journalistic impressions of a revolution and new media power

The Story of Egypt: Journalistic impressions of a revolution and new media power

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Published by Thomas Ledwell

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Published by: Thomas Ledwell on Jan 02, 2012
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05/24/2012

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 The Story of Egypt::
 Journalistic impressions of a revolution and new media power
By Thomas LedwellMC499 DissertationMSc Politics and CommunicationSubmitted to the London School of Economics26 August 2011
 
 T
 ABLES OF
C
ONTENTS
 
 A 
BSTRACT
2I
NTRODUCTION
2 T
HEORETICAL
F
RAMEWORK 
5
 The Roots of Journalistic Culture 5 Journalism as Culture 7 Journalistic Claims to Power 8 A Changing Journalistic Culture 9Power Shifts and Changing Norms 10
C
ONCEPTUAL
F
RAMEWORK 
12
ESEARCH
Q
UESTION
13M
ETHODOLOGY AND
ESEARCH
D
ESIGN
14
Rationale 14Interviewing 14 Alternative Methods 15Research Design 16Selection of respondents 16 Topic Guide 17Critical Discourse Analysis 18
F
INDINGS AND
 A 
NALYSIS
19
New Media and the Egyptian Revolution 19Group Identity and Objectivity 22Citizen Journalism and Changing Journalistic Culture 24Power Shifts and Authenticity in Contemporary Journalism 27
C
ONCLUSION
31 A 
CKNOWLEDGEMENTS
33
EFERENCES
34 A 
PPENDICES
39
 Appendix I Timeline of the Egyptian Revolution 39 Appendix II Interview Topic Guide 41 Appendix III Interview Coding Frame 43 Appendix IV Interview Transcript Respondent 5 (Required) 44 Appendix V Interview Transcripts Respondents 1-4 52
 
MSc Dissertation Thomas Ledwell- -2
 The Story of Egypt:
 Journalistic impressions of a revolution and new media power
 A 
BSTRACT
 
In January 2011 the Egyptian people rose up against their autocratic rulers during aneighteen-day standoff that ended with the resignation of the Egyptian President. As perusual, foreign correspondents from around the world were there to tell the story. Even astraditional journalists spoke of the events in Tahrir Square—the centre of the protest— citizen journalists were simultaneously uploading images, testimonies, and spreading wordof what was happening. This collision of old and new media is the focus of this study. Socialand historical circumstances saw the emergence of the model of objective journalism thathas dominated newsrooms for a century. This work explores how the Digital Age haschanged both the journalistic playing field and journalistic power. There is a growing consensus the new media environment is changing journalism, the question is in what ways? This question is explored through in-depth interviews with foreign correspondents from a variety of institutions that covered the revolution. Critical Discourse Analysis investigatesthe power structures within the hegemonic journalistic discourse. The study findsprofessional journalists acknowledge the importance of new media, but stand firm thatobjectivity is needed in journalism. Journalists recognize the value of citizen content asinformation, but remain sceptical of its news value, discursively maintaining their role asnews gatekeepers. This thesis fosters an understanding of the interactions betweentraditional and citizen journalists as journalism reaches a turning point in its history as new media production is challenging objectivity and restructuring journalism.
I
NTRODUCTION
 
On 25 January 2011, tens of thousands of Egyptians took to the streets of Cairo for a “Day of Rage”(Blight and Pulham, 2011)
 
against President Hosni Mubarak’s autocratic regime that had governed thecountry for three decades.
1
Popular protests in Tunisia had just led to the ouster of the Ben Aligovernment there, and Egypt threatened to become the next country engulfed in the wave of popularprotests that cascaded across the Arab world over the course of the “Arab Spring”
 
(Blight and Pulham,2011).
2
 
1
For a timeline of events during the Egyptian revolution consult Appendix I.
2
The
Guardian 
 website features interactive timeline about uprisings across the Arab World.

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