What was the role of the media in the outcome of the revolution in Tunisia? Throughout the revolution we saw the role of the media was extremely important.
What was the role of the media during the revolution?
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The following snippets are from two articles that describe what role the media may have had in the outcome of the "Arab Spring"
Pollock's portrayal of Egyption activism displays strategies and tools similar to Tunisia's. Of course, that's no accident: The Egyptian activists were following the events in Tunisia, learning from them, and even communicating with some of the leaders -- over Facebook, of course. When one of the Egyptian movement's leaders heard the news from Tunisia, he started texting: "Ben Ali gone. Possibility." As Pollock puts it, "Recipients understood the possibility he had in mind."
In the end, no matter the importance of the online tools, "history happened on the streets," editor-in-chief Pontin writes. But how those streets became flooded by so many, well, it wasn't random, and social media's role boils down to two simple but central accomplishments: First, Facebook and elsewhere online is where people saw and shared horrifying videos and photographs of state brutality that inspired them to rebel. Second, these sites are where people found out the basic logistics of the protests -- where to go and when to show up.
So, Was Facebook Responsible for the Arab Spring After All? By REBECCA J. ROSEN SEP 3 2011, 8:34 AM ET 6 (The Atlantic)
Streetbook How Egyptian and Tunisian youth hacked the Arab Spring. Pollock's Full story
Mostafa knows technology has played a crucial role. "Before this social-media revolution, everyone was very individual, very single, very isolated and oppressed in islands," he says. "But social media has created bridges, has created channels between individuals, between activists, between even ordinary men, to speak out, to know that there are other men who think like me. We can work together, we can make something together." He recalls the April 6 movement spreading content via blogs and Facebook with the note "Copy, Publish, Share." He knew it was working when people he didn't know passed him printouts in the streets. Text messages were also used to call for protests, instructing recipients to "send to 10 people."
Streetbook How Egyptian and Tunisian youth hacked the Arab Spring. BY JOHN POLLOCK SEPTEMBER/OCTOBER 2011 (Technology Review)
About tunisia and egypt (video)
The media has been criticized for casting an inaccurate view of the recent tensions. The problem is that it's portrayed as a recent upheavel, something that the people in the region have seemingly just woken up to. In fact, many of those in the hotspot areas leading revolts have stated that the struggles have been ongoing for years, if not decades, and only because of social media and increased communications capabilities have the current situations finally boiled over at this very moment in history, and seemingly altogether (when really they are more coincidental- after all, just because one country nearby revolts doesn't make it any safer to revolt against a strongman in another country, as Syria and Dubai are proving).
On the flip side, because of the media the word has not just been "getting out" but has been amplified significantly, which places extraordinary pressure on unpopular governments, often hastening their fall. Mainstream media and news organizations are in a fight for their existence with the new social media wave, and thus tend to cow-tow to it. In this example, activity on Twitter and Facebook can often lead to a bunch of mentions in the press, and if drama is abound... it will be 'page one' for sure. Coordination of protests on Twitter, combined with large-scale news reporting of said protests are the current one-two punch being used to overthrow strongmen in the region, something previously unthinkable.