Iran, the Old and the New Media


For a while it looked like a clear-cut victory of new media over old. Cable news channels, which had supplied wall-to-wall coverage of the disappearance of John F. Kennedy junior on another Saturday ten years ago, had neglected a big story. Yet old media recovered. Responding to what Tony Maddox, head of CNN International, delicately calls “real-time audience response”, the network ramped up its coverage of Iran. By June 16th Americans were getting decent reports, and even Mr King was paying attention to the story. In a back-handed compliment, the Iranian authorities cracked down harder on journalists.

Meanwhile the much-ballyhooed Twitter swiftly degraded into pointlessness. By deluging threads like Iranelection with cries of support for the protesters, Americans and Britons rendered the site almost useless as a source of information—something that Iran’s government had tried and failed to do. Even at its best the site gave a partial, one-sided view of events. Both Twitter and YouTube are hobbled as sources of news by their clumsy search engines.

Much more impressive were the desk-bound bloggers. Nico Pitney of the Huffington Post, Andrew Sullivan of the Atlantic and Robert Mackey of the New York Times waded into a morass of information and pulled out the most useful bits.


The Economist, June 20 2009, page 27

5 Comments to “Iran, the Old and the New Media”

  1. Meanwhile, the oldest of the old media in China, the CCP Central Propaganda Department owned Guangming Daily, points its finger directly at the hostile Western forces for inciting violence in Iran:


  2. *snickers* I just used some quotes from a China Daily commenter thread to make Hermit talk. The most effective way to insult such idiots is to quote them.


  3. Many Asians are so so good in using conspiracy theories to drive their agenda. Often lifted the text out of some novel.

    Once I chatted with a die hard theocrats, I just listened and did not debate a lot with him, he actually believed about some Illuminati+ Da Vincci code + pig head cult + Zionist..and many more and believe they whole thing to be true, remote control world from behind and encourage me to join their cause to fight them.

    Someone’s wallet is currently on fire, big big fire, they care little about another countries protest.

    Only problem now in middle east, is easy to solve, control the birth, get the education worked up, and pls pls, hang out less with those clerics that forever has many conspiracy theories and stories to sell. It is not surprise that those born after 70s revolution, now are grown adults in 20s & 30s , mostly jobless and despair. What do they do, nothing much , of course getting sick and tired of old stories being re-told over and over, now taken to street in the hope for change.

    What is seen by Ayatollah today is about the same as the one seen by Nicolae Ceausescu of Romania. In order to cater for population growth, without proper economic planning to sustain the growth, only result will be, people feels hopeless and despair, jobless, left behind while the world moved on and started picking any small things to start a fire. The best recipe to start a mass revolution.



  4. Well, C.A. and Woody, you should really take the evil plots of western media more seriously. Such as this one by the Economist, thirty years ago. That was blatant, shameless interference into Iran’s internal affairs too, right?


  5. What makes people react to single source of news, is when they were denied alternate channel of news. Like, if they have alternate channel of news, educated person would have given it benefit of doubt rather than just rush down the street starts burning things.

    Ya, I agreed with your example, that is what made the change of tone from “freedom fighter” into “terrorist”, after someone suffered low blow- below the belt. Trouble is, most still like the idea of freedom fighters.



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