Iran – the revolution will not be televised; but blogged!


Musavi post-election support rally

Having friends with Iranian background and met people still living there, struggling and striving for change – the latest events in the aftermath of the elections are thrilling to say the least. No upheavel of such proportions have been seen since the revolution in 1979.

In the context of this blog – it’s not less interesting whats going on. The regime has expelled foreign journalists and closed of media reporting from the established media outlets. However, Iran has for some years now been one of the largest blogging-nations – ranging third worldwide in numbers of blogs – as a direct result of the supression of the freedom of expression.

Despite the crack down on professional media – reports, images and video-footage is flowing around in great abundance on blogs, youtube and facebook. No doubt, when things are boiling over as they are right now – the ability to communicate local protests and demonstrations is all important for the snowball to keep on rolling.

Despite the ban on gatherings, people continue to take to the streets – and document these events on blogs and youtube extensively:

The Rotten Gods blog is a good first stop for first-hand documentation and coverage on the events – including video footage of huge demonstrations, killings of demonstrators, peaceful manifestations etc.

The Volcano Erupts is one recent youtube-video mashup of a great deal of photos and videos  from the protests shows quite well how apt and fast activists and citizen reporters use video, blogs and images, combine it with popular tunes and thereby help build the narrative and document the events:

I’m no person to say where it’ll all lead – but for sure, the free availability of citizen media is an important contribution to getting the stories out and continue to build the pressure on the regime. As in all social upheavels, acces to or control over media and information is one of the most important aspects of getting the upper hand and ruling the game. What is happening right now in Iran is turn out to be a case in point on how dificult control of information has become with the unfolding media revolution.

Up for more? A good overview of Iranian blogs in English can be found here.

(And yes, the title of this post is a reference to the film about the coup against Hugo Chavez in Venezuela in 2003 and the takeover of the  large broadcasting stations as the all important measure in the – failed – effort to takover goverment. The film – The Revolution Will Not Be Televised – has some quite extraordinary footage of the minutes and hours of chaos inside the presidential palace – and some even more historical ones where the assumed president-to-be appears on the privately held TV-network for the first time, thanks the TV-station for his rise to primacy and lays out their whole scheme in front of the rolling cameras.)