Analysis and Assessment of the Performance of Online Media in Its Coverage of the Egyptian Parliamentary Elections 2010
As the project of monitoring and analyzing the performance of online media during the last parliamentary elections was launched, the team responsible for this report in ANHRI, or the most optimistic people interested in public affairs in Egypt or in the world did not know that the report would be released under the current circumstances in Egypt. No one knew that these elections would be the straw that broke the camel’s back. The year 2010 ended with the biggest forgery of parliamentary elections in the modern Egyptian history. On the other hand, the year 2011 began with a great uprising by the Egyptian people, in which they rebelled against injustice and corruption the proliferated through out the presidency of Mubarak. We were not confident in the importance of releasing the report at this particular time following the revolution of 25 January, which toppled the regime under which these elections took place, especially that the success of the Egyptian revolution in realizing its objectives necessarily lead to general reform for the Egyptian media, including online media. Despite the lack of any significant change in the performance of the media, few months after the uprising, the ongoing trial of journalists, and sentencing a youth blogger to prison by a military court, we still believe that the performance of the media will improve. The whole media system could dramatically change before the upcoming elections, especially that reforming the media is one of the important goals of our great Egyptian revolution
All the matters previously mentioned did not reduce the importance of issuing this report at this time. On one side, it documents a very important stage for democracy in Egypt. It represents an analysis for the performance of the online media in covering the elections which were the final factor leading to the outbreak of the Egyptian revolution, which initially began with calls from Egyptian youth Internet activists, and afterwards turned into a popular uprising in which all classes and sects of the Egyptian society participated. This increases the importance of documenting this electoral process and the mdia coverage of it, especially the coverage of the online media which contributed to changing the balance of political forces in the Egyptian society.
On another side, the report represents a document that every one can refer to after the upcoming parliamentary elections to compare the changes and the contributions of the Egyptian revolution with respect to the coverage of the elections by the online media, and the impact of the revolution on the neutrality and professionalism of these websites
Moreover, the report can be a guide for those interested in the performance of online media, and can be used in future experiments to monitor this kind of media and could also be added to. The report’s approach can also be used or developed.