The way the Iranian demos are being reported by mattsteinglass
June 16, 2009, 5:29 pm
Filed under: Internet, Iran, Media

…is going to change journalism. It sets a new paradigm.

The paradigmatic case will be crowd-sourcing, aggregation/filters, and analysis. The crowd-sourcing is raw data: Twitter, Flickr, YouTube. The aggregation and filtering will take place on blogs like the Daily Dish or the NY Times’s The Lede. The analysis will essentially be blog posts referencing the crowd-sourced data.

Official media do still have a significant role to play: they are the counterparties for communication with senior officials (government, religious, business, celebrities). These senior officials will not speak with just anyone, so there need to be some kind of intermediaries from organizations they consider responsible. Blogs and Twitter will not put journalists out of business. But journalists should concentrate on tasks they can perform well — interviewing senior officials, accessing authoritative data — and largely leave the man-in-the-street stuff to…well, men in the streets.


2 Comments so far
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Twitter is a wonderful medium for organising and dispersing information, but it is not a news source. Even analysis or aggregation of it is highly biased by 1) the fact that only one side tweets and 2) the natural atmosphere of panic that overtakes all such situations.

Me, I’ll stick to the BBC, and rely on twitter for what it links too, rather than the actual content it holds.

Comment by FOARP

Agreed. It should be emphasized, though, that official media still has a good deal of clout, access, and (while it lasts) credibility. This is what makes CNN’s abdication of their role as the leading “breaking news” provider in favor of haphazard, mindless twitter promotion all the more baffling. Presumably, CNN has the power to send a team into Iran, track down and interview key organizers of the demonstrations, or members of the Mousavi campaign, but instead they turn to interviewing random Iranians via twitter. It’s puzzling.

Comment by Evan Woodward

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