Rebecca Fox


Throughout the first few months of 2011, a handful of protesters dominated mainstream American media coverage of the Egyptian Revolution. Activists such as Wael Ghonim and Gigi Ibrahim were called â the Facebook youthâ and â digital revolutionariesâ . This thesis explores various characteristics of these â media darlingsâ and the ways in which their messages were portrayed in American media outlets. Why did so many news outlets focus on these individuals? This research first establishes a quantitative argument that shows reporters focused on young, tech-savvy, and westernized individuals. Then, through case studies and the application of Bourdieuâ s field theory, this thesis argues that American journalists chose their interview subjects primarily through the influence of news organizational routines/constraints and their personal and professional habitus. In making this argument, this project not only provides valuable context for the revolution itself, but also sheds light on American media biases and how those biases translate into coverage of an event in the MENA region in the early 21st century. This thesis was researched and written by Rebecca Suzanne Fox for American University in Cairo, under the supervision of Dr. Benjamin Geer.


Middle East Studies Center

Degree Name

MA in Middle East Studies

Graduation Date


Submission Date

January 2013

First Advisor

Geer, Benjamin

Committee Member 1

Saad, Reem

Committee Member 2

Holmes, Amy


100 p.

Document Type

Master's Thesis

Library of Congress Subject Heading 1

Revolutions -- Egypt -- 21st century -- Press coverage.

Library of Congress Subject Heading 2

Egypt -- History -- Protests, 2011- -- Press coverage.


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