Egypt unrest and developing applicable thoughts

This is a little risky, but I want to break from the week’s discussion and focus my initial blog post on the unfolding protests in Egypt, which have captured most of my attention today, Jan. 28. The most obvious point in regard to our class is the government shutdown of Internet services. That act makes this somewhat different than the recent events in Tunisia and Iran, where not only could protesters communicate with each other, but provide accounts to those in the rest of the world.

I have been watching CNN, as I find it the best cable network for ongoing breaking news, and the best on-site report I saw all day was from the BBC reporter Assad Sawey, who was beaten by authorities while doing his job. This was better than the Twitter feeds I saw where I tracked the overflow of posts searched with trending keywords “change” and “Cairo” and “Mubarak.”

Most of what I found on Twitter was commentary and gut reaction, with little actual reporting. However, as of 3:30 today, there was a tweet from @wired saying that Cairo residents had removed passwords from routers so protesters could in fact communicate with the outside world. We will see what they can produce as the day develops.

A good question for research and further discussion is what news did Twitter produce of value that the mainstream media could not? For this class, if we think that students might rely on Twitter feeds over more tried-and-true methods of news reporting, were they better off with what they knew?

Twitter Digg Delicious Stumbleupon Technorati Facebook Email

About Ben Brigandi

I'm the sports editor at the Williamsport Sun-Gazette, and I live in South Williamsport with my wife and daughter. Born and raised in State College, and earned my bachelor's at Penn State. This class is my final one before beginning the capstone.