In many parts of the world, media and information literacy has provided a strong platform for young people to contribute to social, political, and economic development, give expression to cultural and religious pluralism, learn about the issues in other environments different from their own, and promote the democratic process.
Egypt is no difference and could not isolate itself from these lofty goals. The new media environment has provided new spaces and opportunities to transform societies, by offering the civil society and social movements impetus that enlightens the decision-making process with information, thus empowering individuals to take control of their destinies.
The research presented here aims to delve deeply into the role media and information literacy plays in the lives of young people in Egypt, the aim being to offer a new vision of media and information literacy that will provide young people with the skills required for effective participation in development activities, using creative media and providing opportunities to gather, analyze and disseminate information.
Two years ago, Egyptian youths captured the global attention and, for a short time, became the world’s focus. But the revolution had become nothing but a regime change, and they had every reason to be angry. With the second anniversary of the revolution, something very different emerged on the streets of Egypt. Large groups of masked, black-clad youths began to appear, holding demonstrations, blocking railways, storming government buildings and unleashing a hail of molotovs onto the offices of the Brotherhood (Harvey, 2013). This article attempts to draw a picture of the new reality of Egyptian youth and how they appropriate new media that seemed to redefine their roles, identities within the context of the public opposition to Islamists in Egypt. From ‘Kefya Movement’, ‘April 6’ to even the most recent social movement the ‘Black Bloc’ that adopt the ideas of anarchism, a common dominator among all of them is the moving beyond traditional methods of mobilization, leading to the creation of what Henry Jenkins (2006) has called ‘convergence culture’.
About Ibrahim Saleh
Saleh is a senior lecturer and the Convenor of Political Communication at the Centre for Film & Media Studies (CFMS), University of Cape Town (UCT).
Saleh is a Fulbright scholar , chair of Journalism Research (JRE) section at the International association for Media and Communication Research (IAMCR), Co-editor of the Journal of Applied Journalism and Media Studies published by Intellect and Editor of Global Media Journal, African Edition published by University of Stellenbosch.
Saleh’s experience as journalist and media trainer helped him bridge the gap between media education as theory to that of the required market skills. Being a broadcast journalist and TV interviewer has given him hands on experience of media production, which makes him look at media with the eyes of a practitioner in addition to his thorough academic background and research.
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