Rassd News Network (RNN)

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Rassd News Network, also known by its initials of RNN (Arabic: شبكة رصد الاخبارية), is an alternative media network based in Cairo, Egypt. RNN was launched as a Facebook-based news source launched on January 25, 2011. It quickly advanced to become a primary contributor of Egyptian revolution-related news that year. Applying the motto "From the people to the people," the citizen journalists who created RNN have since added a Twitter feed and launched an independent website dedicated to short news stories favored by an online audience.[1]

RNN is an organized citizen news network with four working committees; one for editing the news, another to support the correspondents covering Egypt, a third for managing the multimedia feeds and a fourth for staff functions such as development, training and public relations. RNN's Arabic name, Rassd, is an acronym that stands for Rakeb (observe), Sawwer (record) and Dawwen (blog).

The success of RNN and its new social media model is evidenced in its recent local network expansion into Libya, Morocco, Syria, Jerusalem and Turkey.[2]

This achievement is not without controversy, however. The site's accuracy level has been called into question at times and the identities of RNN creators are unknown despite speculation that they are young Egyptians.[3] RNN has endured closures of their Facebook profile and YouTube account as part of the attacks from private media, attempting to thwart their work and influence their content.[4]

Use of RNN's news by international media[edit]

RNN has been a global source of Egyptian revolution-related news since its launch. During the early days of the citizen uprisings across the Middle East, major networks such as BBC, Reuters, Al Jazeera and Al Arabiya used some of Rassd's news and photos, and followed the network on Twitter.[5] Three days after the online portal went live it was streaming video to MSNBC through its Facebook page.[6] Then on February 5, 2011, Louisville's NBC-affiliate cited RNN, Cairo when it reported that President Hosni Mubarak had stepped down as head of Egypt's ruling party.[7] RNN established a Ustream page on January 27, 2011, which, according to the analytic statistics provided by the site, has had 283 total views and 220 unique views.


  1. ^ Solayman, Hanan. "Egypt's Revolution Media: A Question of Credibility". EMAJ Magazine. Retrieved 6 November 2011. 
  2. ^ Solayman, Hanan. "Egypt's Revolution Media: A Question of Credibility". EMAJ Magazine. Retrieved 6 November 2011. 
  3. ^ Aitamurto, Tanja. "Online Journalism Booms in Egypt, But Not Without Restriction". PBS. Retrieved 6 November 2011. 
  4. ^ Solayman, Hanan. "Alternative Media Grows, Restructures Industry". Thedailynewseqypt.com. Retrieved 23 November 2011. 
  5. ^ Cummin, H.J. "ICFJ Helps Citizen Journalist Create Top-Ranked News Network in 'Arab Spring'". International Center for Journalists. Retrieved 11 November 2011. 
  6. ^ Cary, Mary Kate. "Egypt Cuts the Internet in the Face of Revolution". US News & World Report. Retrieved 6 November 2011. 
  7. ^ "Report: Mubarak Resigns as Head of Egypt's Ruling Party". WAVE 3 News. Retrieved 6 November 2011. 

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