The Net Worth of the Arab Spring

Author(s) Ines Braune
Contact Ines Braune, Philipps-Universität Marburg, Deutschhausstraße 12, 35032 Marburg, Germany. E-mail:
Issue CyberOrient, Vol. 6, Iss. 1, 2012, pp. 4-7
Published May 10, 2012
Type Editorial
Abstract When I was asked to be the guest editor of the current issue of CyberOrient, I realized this is a welcome opportunity to arrange and re-sort some aspects, points, and arguments about the role of the media during the Arab Spring. In the course of the events late in 2010 and early in 2011, I felt enthusiastic and overwhelmed - not primarily as a scholar with a background in Middle Eastern and media studies, but as someone who was part of the peaceful German revolution in 1989 as a young teenager. Upon reflection, I took up the role of a media researcher considering how the use of media shaped these events. Though much has already been said and written about the media and Arab Spring, it would be worthwhile after a bit more than a year to reflect and reevaluate the relationship between the media and revolutions. Due to my involvement in this edition, and after numerous discussions with colleagues, and students in my media seminar in the summer term, I frequently came across the following three points: the significance of mediatization processes, the online-offline dichotomy, and various kinds of amnesia.
Keywords Arab Spring, Middle East, media studies, information and communication technology, social networks, Islam and civil society, Middle Eastern studies