Archive for June 24th, 2009
“The restrictions on journalists
Since 13 June, thousands of Iranians have taken to the streets to protest against an election perceived to be fraudulent. The resulting restrictions on foreign journalists are intended to prevent the protesters from disseminating information inside Iran that will reach global audiences. While there have be no attempts to censor the words of reporters, they have been banned from attending the ‘unofficial’ demonstrations.
These limitations have been felt in several ways. Channel 4’s Lindsey Hilsum reported as early as 13 June for Channel 4’s ‘Snowmail’ blog, that journalists were being prevented from leaving their hotels. The BBC’s John Simpson was briefly arrested, Tim Marshall reporting for Sky News had his Press Card revoked, and the BBC’S John Leynes was ordered to leave the country.
Another form of blocking the international media soon emerged, as the flow of information became obstructed in both directions. Peter Horrocks, Director of BBC’s World Service explained the disruption experienced by BBC viewers as being caused by “heavy electronic jamming of one of the satellites the BBC uses in the Middle East to broadcast the BBC Persian TV signal to Iran. Satellite technicians have traced that interference and it is coming from Iran”. It is clear that the Iranian government was doing all it could to prevent foreign journalists from covering the election protests for the outside world.
The result of these limitations has been that the information being presented to audiences in the UK has come largely from Iranian citizens themselves, who have been documenting events as they happen with the technology available to them. This reliance on ‘citizen journalism’ has implications for the way news is read and viewed by UK audiences.”
Flesh is Grass’s coverage is much more in-depth and informed than my feeble efforts:
“In Iran things are the opposite of subsiding. We learn that the election was rigged, with more than 100% turnout in many regions. This assessment is based on the Iranian government’s own data. They are a living insult to their people, and they are not even attempting to hide this:”