Thursday, April 12, 2012

The Scene of the Crime: Article in Arab Media & Society

At long last, I've got a new article out in the online journal Arab Media & Society. The issue also has a really fascinating "Proposal for a Dialogue on Media Reform" by Muslim Brotherhood Spokesman Mahmoud Ghozlan, translated by Reuters chief turned literary translator Jonathan Wright. Then there's an epic comparison piece, on social media and protest in Egypt and Syria, and two beautiful tributes to journalist Anthony Shadid. In my article, which they've nicely dubbed "literary reportage," I write about the increasingly blurry lines between activists and journalists, the status of state-owned newspapers since the revolution, and how these issues came to a head on the evening of October 9th, when over twenty peaceful protesters were killed by the military. I tried to weave together press analysis and storytelling, and they were nice to let me run with it. Check it out here.

On October 9, 2011, violence broke out in front of the Maspero building in downtown Cairo, turning a peaceful march into clashes that resulted in the deaths of over twenty protesters. Immediately, accusations targeted the state-owned media, claiming that it had reverted to Mubarak-era practices of provoking inter-religious violence and had failed to acknowledge the possibility that the military had purposefully killed protesters. While covering the story, independent journalists found themselves working out their relationship to activists as they tried to build a credible case against the state-sanctioned version of the events. This is the story of the march, its aftermath, and the way it was covered, along with brief forays into the history of Egyptian media, offering a broad look at Egyptian journalism a year after Mubarak’s fall from power.

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