A Bit of Defense of the Press On the Iranian Situation

The protests are happening at a time the Western press is on vacation in a country that won't give reporters entry visas

Having leveled several criticisms at the press over the coverage of the Iranian protests (see here and here ), let me offer a bit of a defense for the major news networks like Fox, CNN, NBC, the New York Times, etc. from people wondering why there is no wall to wall coverage or why one side of the protests are being covered more than the other.

First, this is happening over a major Western holiday period and it is no easy task to scramble resources and get people into a country already hard to get into. Iran has to issue visas to reporters to get them into the country and Iran is not doing that. Likewise, many of the major journalists who'd normally cover these things have gone off with families and much of the news is pre-taped this weekend.

Second, just review the #IranProtests hashtag on Twitter and you'll already find a disinformation campaign brewing. God only knows if the Russians are involved with that. So you've got networks with most people on vacation trying to scramble resources and fact checkers and they have to sort through what is and is not true at a time Twitter is being used for disinformation.

Yes, in an internet age we expect rapid news delivery and we expect news organizations to turn on a dime. But the reality is different.

I've been rather appalled at some news organizations willing to turn to pro-regime sources and have said so. I've also been amazed at the biases I've seen revealed in some reporters' tweets about the coverage. So locked into the myth of the Iran deal they cannot or will not be persuaded.

But, in truth, I have no doubt an organized regime that is up and functioning has an easier time getting friendly sources available to a Western press on holiday than an upstart protest can get its supporters available. So as we're all criticizing the lack of coverage or angle, I do think it is fair and reasonable to keep those things in mind.

Comments
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johntfs
johntfs

It's kind of a delicate balance. On the one hand you want to encourage the protests, especially if they can lead to a freer, more western-friendly regime. At the same time "Death to America!" is kind of a thing there, so you don't want to give the impression that the protesters are tools of "The Great Satan." That was likely the dilemma Obama faced in 2009. And then Michael Jackson died and the press dropped that Iran story to focus on a dead popstar.

esotericwy
esotericwy

I think the THE IMPORTANT PIECE OF NEWS REGARDING THE IRAIAN PROTEST IS THAT UNLIKE OBAMA WHO BECAME A MUTE, PRESIDENT HAS OFFERED WORDS OF ENCOURAGEMENT TO THE PROTESTERS AND HOPEFULLY BEHIND THE SCENE IS DOING MUCH MORE.

SteveD
SteveD

But that's not really a very good excuse, not to do their jobs. As if news stops every holiday season.

SteveD
SteveD

But, in truth, I have no doubt an organized regime that is up and functioning has an easier time getting friendly sources available to a Western press on holiday than an upstart protest can get its supporters available.