The Iranian Election and the New Media Revolution

I remember CNN’s moment when Bernard Shaw reported live Baghdad in 1992 as the First Gulf War commenced or Aaron Brown live from Midtown Manhattan as the first tower of the World Trade Center fell. News events like those were the height of old media accomplishment. Right now the most amazing thing happening in the world is the election protests in Iran and I turn on the television hoping for something current and relevant. I’m paying for the extended cable package because I have hitherto thought that when a major story happens, only the big news channels can offer coverage up to the magnitude of the event. On CNN Larry King is interviewing Paul Teutul about his favorite muscle cars and on FOX News Geraldo At Large is interviewing Carrie Prejean about her spat with the Miss USA Pageant. On CNN’s website the lead stories are the Six Flags bankruptcy and the troubles at the FCC hotline over the analog cable shutoff.

The only place for news on Iran right now is twitter, internet forums, YouTube, flickr and various other photo sights where individual Iranians are uploading. Twitter is serving as the guide to it all. I am regularly refreshing the #IranElection twitter hash and getting snippets of what’s happening there in bustles of disorganized 140 character updates. Right now #IranElection, Tehran, Mousavi are the numbers two, four and five highest Trending Topics on twitter. The hash #CNNfail is coming in at number three. When CNN does run some loop story about Iran, they are using still photos culled from FaceBook!

I suspect that within a few days the Iranian police will get a handle on this and the Ahmadinejad victory will be made to stick. This will be unfortunate for the Iranian people and the cause of peace.

However, the new media revolution proceeds apace.

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