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The basis of the information revolution in Egypt centres on the use and appropriation of technological advancements. At its forefront is the growth of information and communication technologies (ICTs), which offer an active and interactive platform for socio-political development, including the circumstances leading to the “25 January 2011 revolution”, predominantly labelled as the “Facebook” or Twitter revolution’. After this “digital” revolution many Egyptians continued using cyberspace. They clustered in networks, created parallel communication systems, each with its own identity, and interacted on issues of common concern. Witnessing a changing environment, the Egyptian journalism industry has had no choice but to overcome its fear of adopting technologies in order to fit into the new mould. Several newsrooms have adopted ICTs in the hope that the new media would help them to develop their content and reconnect with their audiences. Although on the surface this implies development, this claim requires further assessment. This study therefore aims to investigate the implementation and appropriation of ICTs, especially internet technologies, in three Egyptian newsrooms: Al Ahram, Al Dostor, and Al Masry Al Youm. The study further examines the extent to which newsrooms are incorporating ICTs into their daily routine as well as how the technologies are shaping and redefining practices.

According to a leaked document in which technology companies are invited to offer their services, Egypt’s interior ministry says it wants the ability to scan Facebook, Twitter, WhatsApp and Viber in real-time for usage that might “harm public security or incite terrorism”. The ministry asks the unnamed companies for a system that could dredge up “vocabulary which is contrary to law and public morality”. According to the document, this would include “degrading and acerbic ridicule; slander; insult; the use of profanity”, incitement of “extremism, violence and rebellion … demonstrations, sit-ins and illegal strikes”; and “pornography and decadence; immorality and debauchery, and the publication of ways to manufacture explosives”.

In the absence of protest workshops and ‘how-to’ manuals, video footage captured on mobile phones in Kiev (and elsewhere) and uploaded to social media sites now serves as a repository for protest tactics, to be studied and adapted by anti-coup protesters thousands of miles away in Cairo. These instances of unsentimental appropriation mark an interesting departure from previous patterns of resource sharing and border-crossing diffusion of protest tactics, patterns which saw Egyptian activists cultivate a series of formative linkages with pro-democracy movements such as Serbia’s Otpor movement in the years before the Jan. 25 revolution.

The program aims at contributing to knowledge gaining and capacity building in the areas of media policy and media reform in the region. […] A group of regional experts, in conjunction with local experts of the most valuable expertise resources in Egypt will deliver the program:
Emad Mubarak, executive director, Association for Freedom of Thought and Expression, Egypt.
Professor Hussein Amin, professor, Department of Journalism and Mass Communication, School of Global Affairs and Public Policy, The American University in Cairo, Egypt.
Negad El Borai, attorney at law and senior partner, United Group, Attorneys at Law, Legal Researchers and Human Rights Advocates, Egypt.
Professor Ramy Aly, anthropologist and co-founder of the Public Service Broadcast Initiative, Egypt.
Professor Rasha Abdulla, associate professor, Department of Journalism and Mass Communication, School of Global Affairs and Public Policy, The American University in Cairo, Egypt.
Professor Rasha Allam, affiliate professor, Department of Journalism and Mass Communication, School of Global Affairs and Public Policy, The American University in Cairo, Egypt.
Sawsan Zaidah, journalist and director, Eye on Media, Jordan.
Tarek Atia, managing director, Egypt Media Development Program, Egypt.
Tony Mikhael, director of media monitoring unit, Maharat Foundation, Lebanon.
Yahia Shukkier, journalist, managing editor, Alarab Alyawm newspaper, Jordan.

The program aims at contributing to knowledge gaining and capacity building in the areas of media policy and media reform in the region. […] A group of regional experts, in conjunction with local experts of the most valuable expertise resources in Egypt will deliver the program:
Emad Mubarak, executive director, Association for Freedom of Thought and Expression, Egypt.
Professor Hussein Amin, professor, Department of Journalism and Mass Communication, School of Global Affairs and Public Policy, The American University in Cairo, Egypt.
Negad El Borai, attorney at law and senior partner, United Group, Attorneys at Law, Legal Researchers and Human Rights Advocates, Egypt.
Professor Ramy Aly, anthropologist and co-founder of the Public Service Broadcast Initiative, Egypt.
Professor Rasha Abdulla, associate professor, Department of Journalism and Mass Communication, School of Global Affairs and Public Policy, The American University in Cairo, Egypt.
Professor Rasha Allam, affiliate professor, Department of Journalism and Mass Communication, School of Global Affairs and Public Policy, The American University in Cairo, Egypt.
Sawsan Zaidah, journalist and director, Eye on Media, Jordan.
Tarek Atia, managing director, Egypt Media Development Program, Egypt.
Tony Mikhael, director of media monitoring unit, Maharat Foundation, Lebanon.
Yahia Shukkier, journalist, managing editor, Alarab Alyawm newspaper, Jordan.