Courtney C. Radsch



My dissertation focuses on cyberactivism in Egypt. Based on field work in Egypt and online in the Egyptian blogosphere I am writing a history of the emergence of the Egyptian blogosphere and eplaining how and why it developped the way it did. I explore the structural, environmental and local factors that contributed to this development and examine the practices of bloggers as actors engaged in political contestation.Blogs, as virtual sites of identity formation and social organization, have successfully challenged the status quo in Egypt, giving voice to the youth and subaltern groups, such as the Muslim Brotherhood, Baha'i, Copts, homosexuals, salafis, and so many others. I examine how identities are constructed, what types of strategies are deployed, and how organization occurs at sites of contestation that are virtual and public by analyzing the mechanisms by which virtual media power is transformed into concrete instantiations of political struggle by examining the newsmaking practices, processes of interaction, and normative assumptions of journalists and bloggers that underlie decisions about framing, agenda-setting, and political activism.

I also research the Arab news media, specifically transnational satellite television stations like Al Jazeera, Al Arabiya and Al Manar . Drawing on my experience as a journalist in the United States and the Middle East I am exploring the structural and environmental factors that influence news production, how Arab journalists construct their identity, and what doing journlaism means in the Middle East. I am specifically interested in how the Arabic-language media covers US-Middle East relations and the impact on public perception.

I have also contributed to Dr. Marwan Kraidy's path breaking research on hybridity and Arab entertainment television, specifically reality television.

My undergraduate honors thesis examined the first presidential election in which the Internet played a decisive role. “Internet Campaigning: An Analysis of the 2000 Presidential Primaries” grew out of my research for Kataweb that eventually resulted in a report that was translated and published by La Repubbicca (CNN Italia).

Published Papers/Articles:

(forthcoming). Citizen Journalists, Alternative Media and Post-Millennial Social Movements in the Arab World. In Sage Encyclopedia of Social Movements, edited by J. Downing: Sage.

2009. From Cell Phones to Coffee: Issues of Access in Egypt. In Surviving Field Research, edited by C. Lekha Sriram, O. Martin-Ortega, J. C. King, J. Mertus and J. Herman. London: Taylor & Francis Ltd Routledge.

2008. Core to Commonplace: The evolution of Egypt's blogosphere. Arab Media & Society. Fall (6). Cairo: American University of Cairo.

2008. Middle East: Charter Checks Satellite TV Revolution: Oxford Analytica. 3 June. Oxford, Britain.

2008. Middle East: New Media Pack Political Punch: Oxford Analytica. 22 April. Oxford, Britain.

2007. Blogging in Egypt. Reset: Dialogue on Civilizations, September-October 2007 issue (no.103).

2007. Book Review: A Violent World. International Journal of Communication 2.

2007. How Al Jazeera is Challenging and Improving Egyptian Journalism. Reset: Dialogue on Civilizations, Oct./Nov.

Unpublished Papers:

Petro-Media: Politics and Practices of the Arab Satellite News Media

Axes of Contention in Arab Satellite News

The Media's Role in Conflict

Surprise! Sadat and the 1973 War

Culture, Crisis, Complexity: US-China Negotiations Over the Downing of the EP-3 Spy Plane


For permissions please email me at cradsch [at] gmail [dot] com