Does Egypt Matter?

by Melissa Brunner

The challenge for local news in decision which national and international stories to include in our newscast is figuring out how to present them in a way that makes it matter to you. Certainly, what's been unfolding the past few weeks in Egypt is important, but why does it matter to us in Kansas? So, a bunch of people are gathering in a town square again - what makes today any different than yesterday?

I came across a blog from Stephen M. Walt at that spells out several reasons why Americans might want to pay attention to what's happening in Egypt. If it boils down to money for you, you might be interested to know the U.S. sends $2 billion a year to Egypt. Walt also points out how this could impact Middle East stability overall, relationships with U.S. allies in the region and the U.S. War on Terror. He also says that what ultimately happens in Egypt could leave lasting lessons about how democracy might rise in the Arab world.

One other item of interest is how the situation in Egypt might help define the role of new media. As the demonstrations first led to clashes, you might have noticed the news networks citing posts from Facebook and Twitter. We're also seeing reporters file reports via Skype, rather than having large crews in tow. In an era when most have a smart phone, everyone is a potential source to capture an event as it unfolds.

If you're interested in learning more, here's the full article:,0  Meantime, let me know - are you following what's happening in Egypt? Why or why not?


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