A interesting debate is going on in real time at the moment on Twitter involving Jeff Jarvis and Jay Rosen about Twitter’s role (and that of others such as Facebook and YouTube) in covering the news of demonstrations in Iran over the disputed election results. How valid can the Twitter reports be? How do we know they are true? What are the sources? Are they “better” than the “conventional” media?
Good questions to ask… and some valuable links coming up, especially Iran, citizen media and media attention.
The Economist gives its opinion too:
…the much-ballyhooed Twitter swiftly degraded into pointlessness. By deluging threads like Iranelection with cries of support for the protesters, Americans and Britons rendered the site almost useless as a source of information—something that Iran’s government had tried and failed to do. Even at its best the site gave a partial, one-sided view of events. Both Twitter and YouTube are hobbled as sources of news by their clumsy search engines.
The winner of the Iranian protests was neither old media nor new media, but a hybrid of the two.
• BBC World Service: Who do you trust to tell you what’s happening in Iran?