From: Witness

Blogging on the Nile

We look at the role of social media in Egypt and at the bloggers who sowed the seeds of a multi-media uprising.

From Tahrir Square in Cairo to the corniche in Alexandria, all over Egypt thousands of people have taken to the streets to protest against Hosni Mubarak’s government.

Blogs, twitter, Facebook and mobile phone footage have all played some part in mobilising the crowds and getting messages to the wider world. And this despite a draconian crackdown on media and an unprecedented blackout of the internet by the authorities.


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In today’s Witness we look back at a film made four years ago, when bloggers were relatively few and new in Egypt. They claimed the Egyptian government was nothing better than a dictatorship, using torture, intimidation and corruption to maintain its hold on power, and they were attracting a growing audience.

Back then they were already making waves – and paying a high price. But they were sewing the seeds of today’s multi-media uprising.

We are joined in the studio by two guests who have been following the development of media in Egypt. Sharif Nashashibi is the chairman and co-founder of Arab Media Watch, an independent, non-profit watchdog, set up in 2000, to strive for objective coverage of Arab issues in the British media. And Ramy Aly is a PhD student at Sussex University, researching Arabs in London, and has also written about social networking in Egypt. He also had experience of blogging in Egypt back in 2006 and 2007.

Blogging on the Nile aired from Tuesday, February 1, 2011.