A Content Analysis of the Social and Mainstream Media Narratives Surrounding the 2011 Egyptian Revolution

On January 25, 2011, a historical Egyptian movement, inspired by the recent revolution in Tunisia, was sparked by a wave of protest demonstrations throughout Cairo. These demonstrations eventually converged around Tahrir Square. After days of continued protests, as well as deadly battles with police and militant pro-Mubarak groups, the army stood down and the administration wilted. By February 11, Mubarak was completely ousted and his regime had fallen for good. For this article, I conducted a content analysis on a sampling of the social and mainstream media coverage of this remarkable Egyptian uprising. Through this analysis, I wanted to discover the emergent concepts and themes that are prevalent in the media coverage before, during, and after the revolution. I also want to understand how these concepts and themes vary across the different types of social and mainstream media coverage. What ideas emerge? How does the story evolve and get retold as the narrative transitions from real-time, on-the-ground tweets to general newspaper articles and opinion columns? These are some of the questions I explored.