Saturday, June 20, 2009

Tehran Bureau #IranElection

One of the interesting things about the flood of twitters and blogposts apparently coming out of Iran is how they reflect on the role of the mainstream media, particularly the electronic media. If they don't have their own correspondents on the ground, or can't contact them, then what is the point of those mainstream outlets? Why look at Sky News or CNN if you can just watch a raw feed of information, including some horrific photographs and videos that are unlikely to make it to broadcast but tell you more about the situation than a hundred emails from the shocked and hearsaying masses on Sky "let us know what you think" News.

If anything, the role of the established media outlets is to filter and assess. The feeds get hit with a lot of spam and rickrolling nonsense. They serve up information raw, which is both their strength and their weakness. Outlets like Sky News and BBC News 24 should be subjecting that raw information to journalistic due diligence, which is precisely why they shouldn't be asking us what we think.

On the raw front, these seem worth a look:

http://tehranbureau.com/

and

http://twitter.com/tehranbureau

And an interesting comment on these issues is here:

http://www.nytimes.com/2009/06/21/weekinreview/21cohenweb.html

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