Tehran Minute by Minute

Twitpic from Tehran Saturday morning, June 20, 2009We cannot underestimate the importance of what is going on in Iran now.  Read The Lede  in The New York Timesfor minute-by-minute, sometimes second-by-second updates. This is not original, on-the-ground reporting – it is scans of Twitter, Facebook, other news sources, images and sounds being broadcast out of the country through social media and traditional means.

‘Reporters’ are locked out of the news; citizen journalists are capturing events internally and beaming out to the world. A television station in Los Angeles sent 1,000 tiny USB-enabled cameras disguised as pens inside the country. Facebook is now available in Persian, Google is translating Mousavi’s web feed into English. The picture on the left was sent via Twitter.

This is one more example – perhaps the most telling yet – of how social media and citizen journalists are reshaping how we gather and transmit news. Iranians will get smarter about how to get around the government clampdown on ‘evil’ media and the rest of the world, hungry to know what is going on in Iran, will aid them.

This past week has been a revelation. “Where is my vote?” – the repeated message of protesters, in English, is something we have asked in recent U.S. elections (we have a long history of manipulated elections). They speak of Revolution and Democracy and every citizen counting. I cannot pretend to understand the complexities of the Iranian culture but the events of the last week show that we have similar aspirations for justice and freedom and they need to be supported. (Several sources report clashes between the police and protesters).


  1. Roger says:

    What will Mousavi’s supporters do differently? Will you threaten your neighbours with nuclear weapons? Will you deny Israel’s right to survive? Or do you prefer not only to enjoy your own freedom but to respect the freedom of other people too?

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