Institute for Middle East Studies
May 2012

By Kaylan Geiger and Fraus Masri

When a state undergoes a revolution, and the chaos subsides, and the dust of the aftermath settles, the next thing one would expect is change. Change in government, politics, policies, law, and society, change is the goal and expected reward. Yet, for Egypt, change seems as distant as it was under Hosni Mubarak. Within the media in Egypt, both foreign and domestic, elements of tangible change are evident in the growing volume of newspapers and television channels. Nevertheless, much remains the same, from the status quo of state media as a mouthpiece for those in charge to the limitations on what can and cannot be written. This paper seeks to examine the changes, or lack thereof, in press freedom and argues that the state of press freedom serves as an indicator for how the revolution will continue to unfold in politics and society. The media played a vital role in the weeks of protests leading to Mubarak‟s departure, and remains an important actor within Egypt‟s transformation. The press was used as a tool under Mubarak, and it appears that Supreme Council of the Armed Forces has sought to use it in the same manner. More than just a potential political pawn, the media remains a channel through which society can voice itself and become informed. If that channel remains tarnished and corrupt, as in previous years, it inhibits society‟s relationship with the political apparatus and its freedom of expression.

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