Al Jazeera’s Framing of Social Media During the Arab Spring.

TitleAl Jazeera’s Framing of Social Media During the Arab Spring.
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2012
AuthorsCampbell, H, Hawk, D
Keywordsactivism, Arab Spring, democracy, Egypt, information and communication technology, internet, public sphere, satellite TV, social media

This study investigates how Al Jazeera framed social media in relation to the revolutions and protests of the “Arab Spring” within its broadcast media coverage. A content analysis of Arabic language broadcasts appearing from January 25th through February 18th 2011, covering the protests in Tahrir Square, was conducted using the Broadcast Monitoring System (BMS) and Arab Spring Archive. Through this analysis we see a number of common narratives being used by Al Jazeera to frame social media and make claims about the influence they had on the protests and related social movements. By noting the frequency of social communications technologies referenced, ways in which these technologies were characterized and interpreting supporting themes with which they were identified helps illuminate the assumptions promoted by Al Jazeera regarding the role and impact of social communications technology on these events.