Globalization: Social & Geographic Perspectives

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Media & Sovereignty Report – Assignment # 2

April 27th, 2011 · 1 Comment
Media & Sovereignty Report - Assignment # 2

The power of modern technology and social networking may often seem as a threat to national sovereignty. “Media and Sovereignty: The Global Revolution and Its Challenge to State Power” by Monroe E. Price discusses how the relationship between media and borders is always in transition; especially with new “technologies of freedom.” The article begins with Monroe E. Price stating “…Every new medium, every new technology for transmitting information, causes responses by those who feel threatened…internet, with its silent, abundant ubiquity, seems to be the capstone of this tendency to obliterate borders.”

Modern technology, such as social networking, has been used to spread information worldwide. News of the revolution in Egypt against Mubarak began with individuals who had used social networking websites to get their message across nationwide, even before any media coverage could have been done. Because any individual is able to journal or upload photos and videos on many social network websites, almost anyone can see the information being placed on those websites. Individuals in Egypt used these social networking websites; specifically “Twitter,” to spread information around the world of what was going on in their country.

These actions were considered a threat to Egypt’s national sovereignty, therefore Egypt’s government had the internet shut down. Individuals then continued to spread information by using their cell phones; sending messages to others who had access to these social networking websites to once again get their messages across to anyone outside of the country. The U.S government also used social networking to demand that U.S. reporters be released out of Egypt; before long, the reporters were released.

The relationship between Media and Sovereignty regarding their borders or boundaries is somewhat complicated. Media often challenges state power, especially now with “free flowing information” provided by the internet. Many individuals worldwide have access to “technologies of freedom” and use the internet to gain and spread information. Monroe E. Price states, “Re-regulation or the incentive to change media law and policy occurs, within a state, when the cartel of political allegiances can no longer maintains its position of civil dominance.” Therefore, individuals are given the use of modern technology, but it is usually regulated by the authorities of the state.

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1 response so far ↓

  • 1    Prof. Hala // May 5, 2011 at 12:52 am

    A key feature of the social mobilization in Egypt’s uprising was its “networked” quality. It’s important to specify the main actors in this media battle. More than individuals, it was groups, networks of citizens, many linked by real-world organizational and neighborhood connections up against the state, or agents of the state. Some of the best-organized groups with the longest history were labor/professional unions. One of the most important insights about media from the Egyptian case was how critical real-world ties ended up being during the period when the internet was shut down. Activists and citizens relied on face-to-face interaction to sustain the antigovernment movement, circulating leaflets — definitely “old” media — to spread information.

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