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Iran's Establishment And Citizen Journalism


Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei addresses a crowd in the holy city of Qom on October 21. Would his website publish images of protests?

Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei addresses a crowd in the holy city of Qom on October 21. Would his website publish images of protests?

The website of Iran's supreme leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, last week called on citizens to send their videos, pictures, and audio files they recorded on their phones of his 10-day trip to Qom.

I reported about the reasons behind it here.

Here are some of the pictures that, according to Khamenei's website, citizens have sent of their observations of the trip, and for some a close encounter with the Iranian leader.

Meanwhile, Iran's state news agency, IRNA, is also promoting citizen journalism.

IRNA says each citizen can become an "honorary journalist" for the news agency and send reports about events he or she witnesses to the government-controlled news agency.

IRNA's slogan, "Each citizen, a reporter," is very similar to that used by the Green Movement. Opposition leader Mir Hossein Musavi said in an interview in February that "in the Green Movement, each citizen is a media outlet."

The opposition movement has been facing a news boycott by the state-controlled media and has to rely on bloggers, citizen journalists, and social networks and social media to spread news and information about the movement and its members who have come under pressure from the establishment.

But the citizen journalism the Iranian establishment is promoting is likely to be tightly monitored and subject to censorship in case the content citizens send happens to contain material considered damaging to the government.

-- Golnaz Esfandiari

About This Blog

Persian Letters is a blog that offers a window into Iranian politics and society. Written primarily by Golnaz Esfandiari, Persian Letters brings you under-reported stories, insight and analysis, as well as guest Iranian bloggers -- from clerics, anarchists, feminists, Basij members, to bus drivers.

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