Author

Rebecca Fox

Abstract

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.

Department

Middle East Studies Center

Degree Name

MA in Middle East Studies

Date of Award

2-1-2012

Online Submission Date

January 2013

First Advisor

Geer, Benjamin

Committee Member 1

Saad, Reem

Committee Member 2

Holmes, Amy

Document Type

Thesis

Extent

100 p.

Library of Congress Subject Heading 1

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

Library of Congress Subject Heading 2

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

Rights

The author retains all rights with regard to copyright. The author certifies that written permission from the owner(s) of third-party copyrighted matter included in the thesis, dissertation, paper, or record of study has been obtained. The author further certifies that IRB approval has been obtained for this thesis, or that IRB approval is not necessary for this thesis. Insofar as this thesis, dissertation, paper, or record of study is an educational record as defined in the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA) (20 USC 1232g), the author has granted consent to disclosure of it to anyone who requests a copy.

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