We are all fascinated, some more, some less, with the drama of human injustice. This has certainly has been the case with the recent Iranian election and its ramifications. So much so that CNN is providing complete coverage both on the website and on the air. They are also doing something they didn’t do during the election and the resulting rebellion’s early days. They are using Twitter. So are most, if not all, of the other worldwide media organizations.
At this point I could take this post in all kinds of directions. Why mainstream media is dying, why the mainstream media HATES the social web or what happens when people communicate directly with people worldwide without censorship.
It’s the people to people point I find most interesting. It was my vision of the internet 15 years ago. The answers to the questions of what happens when a government can’t suppress its peoples’ voices are pouring across our airwaves, magazines, newspapers and, more importantly, our monitors and cell phone screens.
I realize that extreme suppression is happening in Iran now and that the government is becoming much more successful at locking down the internet but while they do, the world is witnessing. The world is caring. For the first time many of us are seeing a nation of passionate people fighting for their liberties. That is something we Americans can embrace. Suddenly a nation that is part of the ‘Axes of Evil’ is a nation of people we care deeply about and we sympathize with. We support these rebels. Why? Because in spite of their government’s edicts we have heard them, we have read their words and we have watched them die.
I don’t begin to understand the situation in Iran. Their world and this conflict are so foreign to our American conditioning that it is difficult to intellectually interpret. Emotionally I, like many millions, am 100% behind the brave, young protestors. I have been reading, watching videos and television and listening to the radio since the conflict started. I have been trying to get a glimpse at as many views as possible.
The news of Iran is everywhere. If we choose, we can learn a lot about this nation now. We can learn its deep, rich, often violent history. We can become acquainted with its leaders, past and present. We can http://bit.ly/DDapb tour the cities and the countryside via video. AND we can listen to the people who are protesting in the streets right now, in real time on Twitter and Facebook. We can, if only remotely, get to know these desperate citizens en mass.
That, my friends, is new and big and world changing.
What does the unfolding of this often grim Iranian national story say to us? It says the world is very, very different now. The way we get our information is new. It says we the people are becoming a global nation of citizen journalists.