On state repression of journalists : a comparison of Egypt's treatment of print journalists and bloggers, 2004-2008
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In 2008, the Committee for the Protection of Journalists reports, Internet journalists comprised the worldwide plurality of imprisoned media workers for the first time. Why are Internet journalists subject to higher levels of repression than journalists working other medium? My arguments build on literature concerning institutional mechanisms of control in authoritarian regimes, violent conflict and social movement repression. In this report I examine Egypt from 2004 through 2008, a period of high political activism and a corresponding rise in state repressive action. Five years of English-language wire service news reports indicate that a greater percentage of bloggers in Egypt were victims of state repression than print journalists over this period. This pattern can be explained in party by corporatism in the print media sector and journalists’ involvement with opposition movements. Finally, it appears that the state is using the judicial system as a mechanism of punishment; adding to the growing body of literature detailing the judicialization of politics in Egypt.