Aug
10

Update

Research. Is. Exhausting.

So after several weeks of trying to collect data, I thought I had a tedious yet foolproof plan to get it all. Inevitably, something had to go wrong. The state-run newspaper articles became increasingly difficult to find and I was wondering why so many of the newspapers I had looked at initially had such strange gaps in their archives. Then I saw a tweet by a prominent Egyptian blogger saying that many newspapers had been deleting their old pro-revolution articles, which explained a lot.

This called for yet another research design overhaul.

Since I had seen a lot of content analysis done with newspaper headlines, I figured that might be the best way to go for me. Of course, it would then require me to go beyond front page news since my data set would have much less text without full body articles. I started hand-typing the headlines for the state-run articles. My Arabic typing skills are aggravatingly slow, but I figured slow was better than having no data. As I typed, I noticed several interesting things. I already knew Egyptian newspaper headlines were often sensationalized and I expected to see a variety of font sizes. However, there was one headline for example, that contained the word for “crime” with blood dripping from it…… Professional!

Since the typing was taking so long, I decided to focus on a few categories of events (protests, symbolically offensive events, legislative reform, etc.) and to collect articles from those dates in a sort of case-study-esque fashion.

Then I had to take a break because my laptop was acting up and I eventually had to get a new one. When I tried resuming my data collection, I logged onto the state-run newspaper’s website to see that they had completely changed their archive format…

Now, I am able to copy and paste each article. Of course, this makes things much easier, and will probably allow me to return to my previous research design. However, given the timing of it, I’m not sure whether I should laugh or cry.

Meanwhile, for those interested in what’s happening in Egypt now, President Sisi has just unveiled the “new” Suez Canal which is being publicized as “Egypt’s Gift to the World.” Its economic benefits have been grossly over exaggerated and the country has been partaking in some lavish, sometimes disturbing, celebrations. Check out this article for more.

Comments

  1. Love hearing about your research Yussre. I can’t wait to see how it turns out- thanks for giving us a peek into the process!