NEW MEDIA-NEW ALGERIAN ARAB SPRING?

Zofia Sawicka

DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.12775/TIS.2019.005

Abstract


The paper presents events in Algeria that led to fall of the long-term president of the country, Abd al-Aziz Bouteflika in April 2019 and examines the role of the new media in this process. The analysis explains the reasons of  the failure of the Arab Spring in this country in 2011.  Critical discourse analysis of  Algerian new media conducted by the author shows that despite  lack of active actions in 2011, youth movements appeared in Algeria and  led the protests in 2019 not only in the Internet but also in the “offline” world. Currently, the discussion about political impact of new media focuses mainly on a question whether the power of protesting societies is sufficient to overthrow a  government. According to the author of the paper,  it is a single-dimensional approach to the problem, what has been proven by the example of Algeria. New media have become an inseparable part of contemporary societies and their discourse, serving as a platform for disseminating information, mobilizing and participating . In Algeria, despite the fact that social media "have not yet reached maturity" (among others, because of illiteracy, mismanagement, lack of freedom of speech and true democracy), they are gradually becoming political and media public spaces for those excluded from the mainstream politics and media. The social media have caused a situation where the Algerian government has to meet growing demands of society for a greater degree of democracy, justice and freedom of the press and freedom of opinion. With their help, people learned the techniques of social mobilization, developed  structures of  social movement and civil society. Effects of this activity can slowly be observed not only in Algeria but throughout the Arab world.


Keywords


Internet, social media, Facebook, Algeria, protests, civil movement

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