This article discusses how Egyptian journalists are handicapped when it comes to news reporting. It talks about the laws in place that prevent journalists from reporting anything other than the party line, and most importantly, it gives an example of how a cyber activist leaked a video that shattered the narrative the Egyptian government was trying to establish.
This enormous article discusses the problems faced by the media in reporting on terrorism. It highlights all the faults of the media and their current style of reporting, and outlines a “best practices” approach for “good” journalism, a way to get the information out without empowering terrorists, inciting fear, or spreading false information.
Side Note: The media is, in fact, a form of cyber activism, but it shouldn’t be. Anyone who is promoting an idea, pushing an agenda, protesting a policy or promoting a candidate online is a cyber activist. The news should be an unbiased source of information, but it’s not. Entertainment news isn’t news about entertainment, it’s news for entertainment. They have ratings to worry about as well, after all.
We are all aware of media bias. You only have to look at Fox News and CNN to see it in action. However, such bias doesn’t seem to exist in countries where Freedom of Speech isn’t a thing. Take Egypt, for example. Their cyber activists risk their freedom, and possibly their lives, in order to expose the truth about what is happening in their War on Terror, and to bring the atrocities committed to light. In the US, we have so many different news outlets, we can pick and choose what version of the truth we want to see. That’s not a good thing. The second article has an example of cyber activism at its worst, when they’re discussing a school bombing, and how Reddit named a missing student as the bomber, and this was retweeted by a number of reporters and news outlets, in order to “get the word out” for “public safety” and to “bring him to justice”. This information wasn’t verified, and a lot of time was wasted looking for this student, time that could have been spent looking for the actual bombers. In my previous blog entry, I commented on how the government benefits from the media keeping the public in a state of fear concerning terrorism. And so, I’m left with the question, if the actions of our media constitute cyber activism (see my Side Note above), at what point do their actions cross the line and become domestic cyber terrorism?