We all know what happened in Egypt. As journalists we are trapped in a current affairs knowledge competition. Knowing becomes a sense of professional pride. But how often do we question if the stories we are getting from a screen or a printed page tell the whole story? Or, to frame it differently, how much do we really know beyond the fact that the Egyptian people fought a dictator and seemingly won before we moved on to more “exciting” news like Libya or Syria?
I recently had the great pleasure of listening to Ghada Shahbender, human rights advocate and grassroots organizer in Egypt. Ghada not only organizes medics on the ground through social media, but also liaises with international reporters of the calibre of Marie Calvin, who she remembers, “did her best to portray the plight” of the Egyptians. Ms Shahbender explained how mainstream western media had misrepresented Egypt’s Arab Spring.
“The media summarized and simplified our revolution because it was easier,” she said.