Saturday, June 13, 2009

Iran Election and the Failure of the Media News Industry

If you want an example of why traditional American media is in trouble, take a look at the biggest story of the week, the protests of the election results in Iran. Americans wanting to find out the latest can't get much of anything from the so-called news networks are are going to the internet. From one of Andrew Sullivan's readers:

"So all day long, I'm glued to your blog, Juan Cole's blog, Josh Marshall's blog, and a couple others reading as much as I can about the (stolen) Iranian election.

I turned on CNN, and they were going three rounds about some idiot Republican operative in South Carolina who called Michelle Obama an ape. Nothing on Iran.

MSNBC was in the middle of one of its hour-long crime documentaries.

FNC was showing a pre-taped piece on Bernie Madoff.

And I realize that it's the weekend and they usually take the weekend off, but over at NRO, the only thing they've managed to post about Iran today is a link to Daniel Pipes' piece cheering on an Ahmadinejad victory because otherwise his dream of a massive Israeli air assault would be dashed. That's it...a staff of 10+ regular bloggers, and all they can come up with in the midst of an Iranian revolution is a single piece cheering for the status quo?

Thank God that you, Juan, and Josh are on the story."

Indeed. And while the Iranian government cut cellphone and texting communications and has enforced a media blackout, news is getting out not only from the foreign media but from Twitter, YouTube, and Facebook. The American news media have fallen asleep at the switch having taken the weekend off and running pre-determined crap or talking head punditry debates. Exceptions are blogs run by media outfits, just as the NYTimes online. Apparently, as Sullivan posts, the revolution will be twittered and YouTubed.

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