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Media audiences and media consumption during political transitions: The case of Egypt

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This article examines the role of new media in countries in transition. Using original survey data from Egypt (2012), we examine individuals’ use of media to search for information following Egypt’s participation in the Arab Spring. There are two provocative findings. One, different media satisfy informational searches at local, regional and international levels. And two, the profiles of ‘new media’ users are the most distinct among all mediums, matching the participants in non-traditional forms of political participation, namely urban-living males with education and access to income. Thus, in contrast to the technological determinism of some optimistic ‘new media’ supporters, in countries with low access levels to connectivity, this may suggest an analytical shift from medium to user to better facilitate our understanding of the role of new media in countries in transition.

Keywords: Egypt; Middle East/North Africa; democratization; mass media; new media; political behaviour

Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: 1: Bournemouth University 2: Center for Research and Social Progress, European University Institute

Publication date: November 1, 2017

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UA-1313315-26