25.6.09

Clerical Error


Iran’s decision to prevent foreign journalists from reporting on its current internal strife has really backfired thanks to citizen journalism, which I don’t think any of us can afford to trust. Had Iran allowed trained journalists from across the world to continue to report as normal on the post-election protests then these journalists – who, contrary to the Iranian authorities’ beliefs, do not have a preconceived agenda – would be dispatching something at least close to even-handedness when it came to reporting to the outside world.

As a result of this defensive move by the Iranian regime it has instead opened up the gates for Twitterers and YouTubers to upload only one side or the other of the story, taking away that even-handedness and, frankly, just leaving us with bleating propaganda from either side. Can we seriously believe that people are typing tweets on their mobile phone while being shot at with live rounds? Can we truly verify video footage of blurred pitched battles and believe the date and location we’re given by people with an agenda? I don’t think so.

Whatever medium the updates from Iran are coming from and however funky and zeitgeist that is, it’s still likely to be unbalanced. A neutral, trained media core is required to give us as true a reflection as possible as to what’s really happening in Iran, and while foreign journalists are banned we won’t get this and should take all reports from either side with a bucket of salt.

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