When the news media doesn’t see and doesn’t hear, nobody hears. Nothing matters. Nobody cares. Nobody knows.

But when there is news, and when the news media pays attention, the equation comes together. And this may be what is happening today in Egypt.

Baheyya looks at how the news media has begun to cover civil protests in Egypt.

Street action by groups of ordinary people isn’t new, but it’s far less documented and celebrated than similar action by workers, tradesmen, students, and other organised social sectors. Unlike these groups, ordinary people rarely distribute pamphlets or carry placards that survive as records of their action. Its sporadic character and focus on basic needs (food, water, housing) is often taken to mean that ordinary people’s protest is somehow less significant, less political than ‘real’ protest. By contrast, the press is currently portraying ordinary peoples’ protests as portending an impending national revolt and regime breakdown. Notwithstanding their excellent coverage, al-Masry al-Youm’s editors have inexplicably christened the water protests in Kafr al-Shaykh, Gharbiyya, Daqahliyya, and Giza as the “Revolt of the Thirsty,” implying that widespread popular wrath will inevitably translate into political upheaval and ‘chaos’.http://www.baheyya.blogpsot.com