Egypt Independent

BBC produces film on role of electronic media in Arab uprisings



BBC Arabic announced on Saturday that it has produced a documentary film featuring the role of new media and social networking sites in fueling the uprisings in the Arab world.

The film is set to be shown on the BBC's Arabic-language satellite TV channel on Monday, 19 March 2012 at 19:07 GMT.

"The Electronic Spring" attempts to answer questions about the role of bloggers and internet activists in the Arab uprisings, and the effects of images transmitted through mobile phones and the internet on the Arab street and in bringing down regimes, said a BBC statement.

The film, according to the statement, tackles the role of new media in most of the Arab uprisings, starting from the circulation of pictures of a protest following the self-immolation of Tunisian Mohamed Bouazizi on Facebook, which the film considers as the uprisings' spark, and then the Libyan revolution, during which images were smuggled across the border into Tunisia to be published internationally.

In Egypt bloggers were the engine of the popular uprising that toppled a regime many believed was undefeatable, said the statement, while in Bahrain, where a media blackout was imposed on the popular uprising, the opposition resorted to social networking sites to make its voice heard.

In Syria, the internet has been the best way to cover the events because of the severe restrictions the regime imposed on journalists.

Mohamed Yahya, programs editor-in-chief at BBC Arabic, said in the statement that the aim of producing "The Electronic Spring" was to highlight the role of new media and social networking sites in directing the course of the events and in providing material for press coverage.

"The documentary film was shot in more than one country and includes interviews with bloggers who had an important role in shaping the Arab Spring and transmitting its developments, which surprised and astonished the world," he added.