We, the elected Executive Board of the International Association for Media and Communication Research based in six different countries, wish to state our support for the restoration of free public communication and the move to an authentic democracy for all Egyptian and Tunisian citizens, as for the citizens of other nations who suffer from the violent repression of these rights.
We are concerned at the violation of the Egyptian people’s rights of assembly and free speech that require a non-intimidating atmosphere without the threat of harm. The shutting down of internet and mobile phone access for long periods does not help the process of democratization in Egypt. We are also concerned about the attacks in Egypt on human rights activists and on journalists working for many international news channels and on countless other photographers and reporters on the ground who are covering this vitally important story for global audiences.
Jillian C. York writes about free expression, politics, and the Internet, with particular focus on the Arab world:
"Like Alaa Abd El Fattah, I think it's too soon to tell what the true impact of social media was on the events of the past few weeks. I also think it's a bit irresponsible of Western analysts to start pontificating on the relevance of social media to the Tunisian uprising without talking to Tunisians (there are notable exceptions; Ethan Zuckerman's piece for Foreign Policy is spot on, Matthew Ingram does a nice job of opening the debate here, and Evgeny Morozov's analysis-which starts with this great piece-is ongoing)."
Howard University Professor Carolyn M. Byerly's research, to be published in the forthcoming Howard Journal of Communication, February 2011, has found that only 6% of radio and television stations are owned by women, in television the number is less than 5%. For more information, see the Feminist Peace Network website.
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