Civil Journalism in the Arab World as Exemplified by Blogs
The most convenient forum for the civil journalism are blogs, which started to be perceived as valuable sources of independent information after 11 September 2011. During the last war in Iraq, they established their position in the Middle East thanks to such bloggers as Salam Pax. Although some Western scholars had anticipated that blogs would stimulate political change in the region, they were not able to predict the role really played by them (along with other social media like Facebook and Twitter), i.e. their help to ‘knock down’ the regimes in Tunisia and Egypt. Young readers of Arabic blogs were in the vanguard of protests. However, the Internet turned out to be also a tool of regime’s repression and censorship, facilitating identification of cyber activists. The article offers an overview of the Arabic blogosphere history. It presents the most renowned bloggers and their achievements, as well as general characteristics of blogs. Additionally, it discusses the situation of bloggers in the chosen countries before and after the ‘Arab Spring’ with special focus on Egypt. The objective here is to estimate to what extent Middle Eastern blogs can influence the Arab people turning them into civil societies.
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