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Protest and Social Media Around the World: How Can I Get More Information?

By Merrill Stein and Kristyna Carroll

Recently many patrons have been seeking information about places, political leaders and events in the Middle East and Northern Africa, described as “history in the making.”

Here are some substantive sources:

BBC News, specifically their special reports and country profile pages, provides current information. For another point of view, try Al Jazeera, notably their in depth reports and programsCNN and Reuters also provide late breaking news. Follow these in news feeds, podcasts and Twitter.

You may also want to check out the Dubai School of Government, Arab Social Media Report.

Obtain more news from library subscription services such as ProQuest Newspapers, Lexis Nexis Academic, and Academic OneFile: these are updated daily. For more scholarly discussion, use Worldwide Political Science Abstracts.  Try CQ Global Researcher for the latest Sub-Saharan Democracy report.

Take a multidisciplinary approach and use resources from several library subject guides or course & topic guides available under History, Geography or Political Science.

Using resources listed under Databases A – Z on the library home page, you can discover additional background information, further reading and other resources in Oxford Islamic Studies Online.

CIAO – Columbia International Affairs Online provides working papers, policy briefs, case studies and other information like The Tunisian Revolution: An Opportunity for Democratic Transition and  Juan Cole’s Informed Comment section .

Read about an early meeting between Egyptian President Husni Mubarak and Tunisian President Zine El Abidine Ben Ali in Foreign Broadcast Information Service (FBIS) daily reports, covering 1974-1996. This is a good source for primary documents, such as press conferences and speeches.

Use the PAIS International database to investigate global public policy and social issues written in reports, journal articles and books.

Read the latest country report about Egypt in the Economist Intelligence Unit (EIU) database.  Keep in mind that transliteration may require name variations in your searches.

If you’re surfing the open web for more background information, try the Library of Congress Country Studies or CIA World Factbook. Seek more views and data at the UN News Centre or allAfrica.com.  The World Bank profiles over 200 countries and economies its databank, and the Heidelberg Institute for International Conflict Research, maintains a yearly conflict barometer, including reports about Sub-Saharan Africa and the Middle East and Maghreb.

Another good place for information is the Middle East Roundup on The Guardian. (Link provided by Catherine Warrick, Political Science)

Check out some new media and democracy books listed in Falvey’s Communication Reference blog.

Questions? Contact the research consultation librarians.

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Last Modified: March 2, 2011