From revolution to self-censorship
Wael Ghonim is the Google executive who helped jumpstart Egypt's democratic revolution with a Facebook page memorializing a victim of the regime's violence. Share the TED talk, "Wael Ghonim: Inside the Egyptian Revolution."
In early 2011, Ghonim was detained by the Egyptian government. Freed after 11 days of international pressure, he revealed his identity and helped lead the revolution that toppled president Hosni Mubarak. Says Ghonim: "The power of the people is much stronger than the people in power."
Flashlight: Do people have the power? Why or why not? How does social networking overcome what Ghonim describes as "the psychological barrier of fear"?
Spotlight: Dictators can steal a country’s wealth by directing government contracts to companies they own. Explore the following sites: Alaveteli and Investigative Dashboard. They can help journalists track a dictator's assets. See more in this video. How do investigative journalists make this information known in countries where the traditional media is controlled?
Searchlight: Research the story of a small news website Al Masry Al Youm, published in Arabic and English. It started as a print version to challenge the largest newspaper in the nation: Al Ahram, which, while state-controlled, is seen by many as the “official” way Egypt is presented to the world. But the print version of Al Masry Al Youm was shut down April 25, 2013 by its parent corporation. A digital copy of the final edition was posted on the web by Editor Lina Attalah. The final edition, which was never printed, noted that the very prospect of being an independent journalistic entity in Egypt can be threatening to those in authority. Discuss the issue of “self-censorship.” What is it? Is this an example? Can it be overcome? How?