Tag Archives: Iran

Video from Beet.tv: How Reuters used social media in Iran to source video

Earlier this week Reuters’ global editor Greg Beitchman told an industry debate on the future of video that the agency wants to make more of its raw film footage available to clients.

Speaking to Beet.tv in the video below, Beitchman explains how Reuters used social media, particularly Twitter, to source raw video footage from Iran during its coverage of the post-election protests:

New York Times: Behind the anonymous video nominated for a Polk Award

The New York Times speaks to the first uploaders of the video of the collapse and death of Neda Agha-Soltan after she was shot during anti-government protests in Iran.

The anonymously filmed and uploaded video last week won a George Polk journalism award – the first time in the awards’ history that a work produced anonymously has taken a prize.

This is a snapshot of how “viral” news can spread and, as Steve Grove, head of news and politics for YouTube, says, how readers and citizens are participating in documenting news events.

Full story at this link…

Guardian: Iran bans contact with BBC

Iran has banned contact with more than 60 international organisations, including the BBC:

The intelligence ministry said the blacklist included thinktanks, universities and broadcasting organisations identified as waging a “soft war” aimed at toppling Iran’s Islamic system.

The BBC launched a Farsi satellite television channel last year. The corporation’s coverage of the post-election protests in Iran was fed by user-generated content after foreign news organisations had their movements restricted in the country.

Full story at this link…

Dart Blog: Twitter was ‘great excuse’ of Western media in Iranian election protests, says Iason Athanasiadis

“Was there a Twitter revolution in Iran? To Iason Athanasiadis, an independent journalist whose detention there sparked a global uproar that culminated in his release, the answer comes quickly: No.”

A thoughtful piece on the Dart Center blog about Iason Athanasiadis’ recent talk at Columbia University. “Twitter was the great excuse of the Western media,” the journalist argued. But it did play a crucial role, he said.

“When using social media as a reporting tool, Athanasiadis is careful to triangulate.  ‘I’ve never really quoted anyone that I’ve never met,’ he said. The same could not be said for much of the Western press, who, faced with the alternative of reporting nothing, often relied on broadcasting messages and videos before investigating their provenance. It was one such video, of Neda Agha Soltan dying after being shot in the chest, that became the most powerful and recognizable symbol of the protests.

“The video turned out to be authentic, but social media also helped spread false images of Neda, inflated protest tallies, and rumors; the multitude of non-Iranian Twitter users who changed their stated location to Tehran made parsing the authentic from the inauthentic all the more difficult.”

Full post at this link…

PC World: The ZDnet/Iran saga is ‘a cautionary Web 2.0 tale’

PC World, among others, takes a look at ZDnet’s handling of serious allegations made against Yahoo – that the company had handed over account information for 200,000 Iranian bloggers to the Iranian government. Yahoo denied the claims and ZDNet has retracted the story in full, the Committe to Protect Bloggers reports.

CBC News: Iranian authorities close three newspapers

According to local news agencies, newspapers Farhang Ashdi, Arman and Tahlil Rooz have been closed down by Iran’s press supervisory body.

No reason has been given, according to head of Tahlil Rooz, Bahman Hagatnian.

Since President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad’s re-election in June the country’s media has faced severe restirctions.

Full story at this link…

Ofcom: Galloway’s Press TV programmes in breach of code

The Iranian government-funded international English-language channel, Press TV, has been criticised by Ofcom for its impartial treatment of content. In a bulletin published today, the broadcasting regulator said that it found two of George Galloway’s Press TV programmes, Comment and the Real Deal, in breach of its broadcasting code.

“Ofcom considered that within the Programmes overall, there was not an appropriately wide range of significant views included and that the views that were included that were contrary to the opinion of the presenter, were not given due weight. As a consequence, Ofcom considered the Programmes to have breached Rules 5.11 and 5.12 of the Code.”

Ofcom received complaints suggesting that the programmes ‘failed to put both sides of the argument in relation to the situation in Gaza; constituted Iranian propaganda; and that George Galloway in particular did not conduct a balanced discussion on the issue of Gaza’.

“Press TV maintained that all the Programmes complied with the rules on impartiality in Section 5 of the Code, and it highlighted how it had included sufficient alternative views within the Programmes.”

Full bulletin at this link.


Last month, Journalism.co.uk looked at criticisms levelled against Press TV by its UK critics. Writing in the comments, journalist Yvonne Ridley, defended her decision to work for the channel.

In July, Journalism.co.uk asked Press TV’s legal adviser, Matthew Richardson, about the Ofcom investigation. He said:

“I don’t want to prejudice the Ofcom investigation. All stations receive complaints. I await to see what the exact nature of the complaints are.

“The fact is that Press TV is regulated by Ofcom, and is therefore under the direct scrutiny of Ofcom’s Broadcasting Codes, unlike the BBC in many instances. So even if we wanted to be a dictatorial, Stalinesque propaganda station, Ofcom simply wouldn’t allow it. Also, it would be very dull.”

CPJ: Journalist trials to begin in Iran; charges of ‘sending pictures to enemy media’

From the Committtee to Protect Journalists: “After more than a month of detention, several journalists may face trial beginning on Saturday on charges of ‘sending pictures to enemy media’.”

In addition, three documentary filmmakers were arrested on Thursday; the total of journalists currently held in Iranian jails is currently 42, the highest  count in the world.

Full story at this link…

IFJ: 39 journalists and media workers forced to leave Iranian news agency

The International Federation of Journalists (IFJ) this week issued a statement voicing ‘deep concern over continuing harassment of media in Iran amid signs of growing opposition from independent journalists to censorship and manipulation in the country’s mainstream media.’

The organisation reports that, according to its affiliate, the Association of Iranian Journalists (AoIJ),  the ‘conservative’ Iranian news agency, Fars News, has sacked or forced resignations of 39 journalists and media workers: ‘a number of them in recent weeks following clashes with management over the agency’s editorial line.’

“There is evidence of strong pressure on independent journalism from outside and inside the newsroom. Even some media owners inside the profession are bullying their journalists who refuse to toe the official line. Journalists are arrested, sacked or forced to resign for standing up for ethical journalism,” said Aidan White, IFJ general secretary, in the IFJ statement.

Full statement at this link…

Newsnight: Paxman interviews Huffington on ‘curation’ and editing of reports from Iran

Jeremy Paxman interviews Huffington Post founder Ariana Huffington and the Evening Standard’s Anne McElvoy on the use of non-traditional media/amateur reports from Iran and the concept of ‘curating’ this information as opposed to traditional editing.

McElvoy usefully describes the intersection of as a complex mosaic with each piece contributing subjective information – but information that requires an overview/comparison that can be added by an editor or professional journalist.

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