Research

Trust in News Media Before, During and After the Revolution: The Case of Egypt

An RISJ project sponsored by the John Fell Fund.

 

The project explores the consumption of and attitudes to trust in international news media in Egypt against the background of recent changes in its political and media landscape.

 

The study is a follow-up to earlier RISJ research on trust in international news media conducted in Egypt in the context of the International Broadcasting Project.

Building on the fieldwork conducted in July 2010 in Cairo, the study is designed as a comparative before / after-media case study. The aim of the study is to examine and compare media consumption and trust in international, pan-Arab and domestic broadcasters before, during and after the revolution across the whole population, not just elites.

The case of media consumption and trust in international and pan-Arab broadcasting organizations in Egypt is particularly relevant, as it is proposed at a time when the role of media in social and political change – specifically the on-going revolutions across the Middle East and North Africa – is both unprecedented and contested.

In particular the role of pan-Arab satellite networks such as Al Jazeera during the recent uprisings in the Middle East has elicited both public interest and wide media coverage. However, very little academic research has yet been conducted to examine the role and impact of these networks on audiences in the affected countries.

Broadcasters and new media eco-systems do not only spread information, they facilitate the framing of political events such as political unrest and protests. But for these events to have significance, they need to be interpreted in a certain way by the media audiences.

The findings of this study will significantly contribute to an understanding of this process and will examine the role of news networks in general and international broadcasters in particular in the context of these unique political changes in Egypt.

The UK based research team comprises Dr Anne Geniets and Robert G. Picard.