Today marks the fifth anniversary of the 25 January Revolution, the greatest thing that Egyptians came together, even if some people hate this. Irrespective of the attempts of some to undermine it, or compare it to other incidents, the effect that the revolution left on Egyptians cannot be compared to that of any other incident. Regarding the media coverage of the event, there are many lessons to be learned; let us call them “The January Lessons”.
- Before talking about any lessons, we can say that it was definitely a happy memory for all those who believed in three things: bread, freedom, and social justice.
- I wish an awful anniversary to those who exploited their media platforms to discredit the image of innocent people who dreamt of nothing more than justice.
- The experience has proven that there are only two kinds of media professionals at such critical times in the country’s history. The first are those who say what they believe in, maintain their professionalism and principles, and are able to confront the consequences of their opinions, whether positive or negative. This type maintains their self-respect before anything. The second is a tool which the regime uses, whatever this regime is, and after the regime is done, it throws them in the nearest garbage dump.
- The 25 January Revolution has become a landmark in the history of political awareness and concern of Egyptians. Egyptians are no longer the same even if some people try to convince us of the contrary. This is evidenced by the number of political shows presented on the Egyptian televisions every day and the increasing concern about them.
- Television is not a tool for entertainment but one of the important means of forming our generation’s consciousness as well as the consciousness of the generations we raise. We should be aware of what we watch and read, and not allow ourselves – whether in good faith or out of ignorance – to fall prey to other people who wish to form our minds and consciousness as they please.
- This generation has the largest media network known to history, with the most widespread and effective network: social networks. It seems that the older generations will not be able to keep pace with this generation in using this technological power.
- You cannot hide. Your positions and opinions will not be forgotten and you will not be able to obliterate them. Everything is recorded; every syllable you spoke and every word you wrote are recorded. The last five years proved that anyone who tried to switch their positions from one side to another in the media arena simply failed.
- Audiences are stronger than the media; they direct the media, not the other way around. This is what has been seen over the last years, with the increasing prominence of a number of figures and the cancellation of many shows upon the audiences’ will.
- Finally, and to stress this point, the 25 January Revolution is ongoing whatever side you take. If you are against it, your attempts to promote desperation among those on the other side and your utilisation of all possible methods to discredit them are the biggest proof that it is still ongoing. As for the other side, the revolutionary side, it is still carrying the hopes and dreams that were never forgotten even after five years.
Mohamed Abdel Kareem is a journalist and a columnist in different of newspapers and magazines including Dostour, Tahrir, Sayidaty, and Rotana. Abdel Kareem has a number of short films such as “The Painter”, “Mestany”, and “Not Entering the Festival”. The films participated in international festivals in France, the US, Macedonia, among others.