World Press Photo 2011, presents his photographs as the starting point for a conversation with bloggers and experts on the situation #afterthespring

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“The Arab Spring was not only driven by the new technologies”

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The Arab Spring has often been christened the “Facebook Revolution” or “Hashtag Revolution”, but James Curran, Professor of Communications at Goldsmiths College in London, believes it was not just technology that prompted the uprisings, but rather technology coupled with an underlying current fuelled by high unemployment, soaring inflation and absolutist policies under regimes such as that of Mubarak. Curran examines what happened in Arab countries with much greater Internet penetration than Egypt, such as Saudi Arabia and Morocco. Despite having a significantly higher Internet-using population, Curran argues that uprisings did not occur in these nations as the political, economic and social situation is not as dramatic.

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James Curran >

Director of the Goldsmiths Leverhulme Media Research Centre
James Curran is the director of the Goldsmiths Leverhulme Media Research Centre and Professor of Communications at Goldsmiths College, University of London. He has written or edited more than twenty-one books about the media, including Media and Democracy (with Jean Seaton, Routledge, 2010), Media and Society (Bloomsbury, 2010), and Medios de comunicación y poder en una sociedad democrática (Mass Media and Power in a Democratic Society, Hacer, 2005). He has just published Misunderstanding the Internet (with Natalie Fenton and Des Freedman, Routledge, 2012). His research is focused on the history and political economy of the media, a perspective from which he has sought to relate developments in the media with wider social changes.