The Twitter Revolution

The Twitter Revolution

Blog_Tehran_Protester-1

Kevin Drum has been grading the coverage:

I followed the events of the weekend via three basic sources. The first was cable news, and as everyone in the world has pointed out, it sucked. Most TV news outlets have no foreign bureaus anymore; they didn’t know what was going on; and they were too busy producing their usual weekend inanity to care. Grade: F.

The second was Twitter, mostly as aggregated by various blogs. This had the opposite problem: there was just too much of it; it was nearly impossible to know who to trust; and the overwhelming surge of intensely local and intensely personal views made it far too easy to get caught up in events and see things happening that just weren’t there. It was better than cable news, but not exactly the future of news gathering. Grade: B-.

The third was the small number of traditional news outlets that do still have foreign bureaus and real expertise. The New York Times. The BBC. Al Jazeera. A few others. The twitterers were a part of the story that they reported, but they also added real background, real reporting, and real context to everything. Grade: B+. Given the extremely difficult reporting circumstances, maybe more like an A-.

Twitter has been a great tool for the Iranian protesters — and for us. Marc Ambinder rounds up the evidence here. But protests have happened before without either Twitter or the internet.

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