Egyptian activists and state supporting media: Unlikely media alliances in revolutionary times

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Mark Allen Peterson (2011) has argued for seeing revolutions as periods of liminality, maintaining that unlike traditional rites of passage, where the outcome of the process is known, the transformational possibilities in a social and political revolution seem endless. In this presentation, I argue that the uncertainties of the transformational possibilities encourage shifting and unlikely media alliances in which people, who would previously see themselves as fierce opponents momentarily find common objectives and cooperate around them. I look particularly at relationships between corporate journalists and activists from the No to Military Trials for Civilians campaign and Operation Anti Sexual Harassment and Assault (OpAntiSH) and describe their very different media dynamics. No to Military Trials for Civilians managed to get through to corporate media after months of insistent efforts and a substantial amount of lobbying and documentation around the issue of military trials. OpAntiSH activists, though dealing with the topic of mass sexual assaults, which had previously been actively ignored by corporate media, were aggressively pursued by corporate journalists. The presentation takes a point of departure in ethnographic fieldwork with information activists and corporate journalists in Egypt during two periods in 2012, when the Supreme Council of the Armed Forces (SCAF) was leading the country, and 2013, when Mohammed Morsy of the Muslim Brotherhood was president. During both these periods, the revolution was very much ongoing, but the political situations and relatedly the mediascapes in the country were significantly different.
Original languageEnglish
Publication date23 Oct 2015
Publication statusPublished - 23 Oct 2015
EventTheorising Media and Conflict - Department of Social and Cultural Anthropology University of Vienna, Vienna, Austria
Duration: 23 Oct 201524 Oct 2015


WorkshopTheorising Media and Conflict
LocationDepartment of Social and Cultural Anthropology University of Vienna
Internet address

ID: 185232419