LJWorld.com weblogs KUSp8
Iran and the news coverage
First off, kudos to the Iranian people; the courage it takes to stand up to an oppressive dictatorship, oh, sorry, fairly and freely elected leader, is admirable.
Now, onto the use of 'social networking sites'... I'll preface this by saying I cannot stand the use of Twitter or Facebook using CNN. I don't really care what jimbo47 or suzylue93 has to say about the intricacies of health care reform, closure of gitmo, economic stimulus, or whatever. If I want to get an opinion of people I'll talk to people I know. The Brownbacks are family friends, that doesn't say I agree with any or all of his policies, but it does give me a feel for the opposing viewpoint. Twitter and Facebook provide, just like LJWorld message boards and blogs, a place for people to let their opinions be known. What they should not be are places for news organizations to find information. I wouldn't be objectionable to news organizations using social networking sites for context, quotes, or leads for stories as long as they are able to be verified independently. I hesitate to use John Stewart on here because of his obvious political bias, but this is a pretty non-political piece. http://www.thedailyshow.com/video/index.jhtml?videoId=229026&title=i-on .
However, having said all of that, I would add an asterisk saying this only applies to situations in which the press is free to do its job.
This asterisk more than applies to the situation in Iran, which is why Twitter, Facebook, Youtube, Flickr, etc., are so important in getting the information to the rest of the world. However, even though these sites are important in getting pictures, videos, and stories to the rest of the world, the situation in Iran shouldn't be used as a transformational event in the news broadcasting. I rarely watch Fox News anymore, but because CNN's become so addicted to Twitter, etc., I have been forced to watch Fox News. Fox News has taken a fairly even handed approach to the whole situation. Occasionally, there will be a swipe at Obama, but that is to be expected and good in providing a quasi-semblance of balance.
Not the most organized post, but hey, it's only my second one, so I'm sure they'll get better.
In the words of Bill O'Reilly, "Feel free to opine with your pithy comments".