19
Jun
09

Who do you trust to tell you what’s happening in Iran ?

If you are anywhere near a TV showing BBC World – we’re on at 16.30 BST

persian womanThe true and undisputed winners of the Iranian elections have emerged – Twitter, Facebook, Flickr and You Tube  have been bathing in the limelight. Here’s the BBC’s breakdown on social media in Iran. The Iranian government’s blocking of traditional media outlets has meant that microblogging has been our main source of information.

Microblogging of course cannot always be verified. So, have the events in Iran just been exaggerated or has our access to social media been a valuable insight to what’s really happening on the ground?

 “I think the idea of a Twitter revolution is very suspect,” says Gaurav Mishra from 20:20 Webtech. “The amount of people who use these tools in Iran is very small and could not support protests that size.”

But with increased restrictions on reporting inside Iran should we not just accept that social media is our best bet of getting continuing coverage on the events right now? We at WHYS have struggled to get voices out of Iran, and any we have managed to get on air have been thanks to the internet. Here’s a more detailed interview with Gaurav on Iran and Twitter. Worth a read.

Despite concerns, we’ve relied on online citizen journalism to be our primary source of information.I had an email exchange with an Iranian yesterday who wrote “you may think you are just doing your job, but you are helping to change the lives of Iranians.” There’s no doubt that many are clinging onto the internet as a lifeline and conveniently, you can’t pull the plug on the net either. But do we even know who these citizen journalists are? One thing’s for sure – they’re young, they’re tech savvy and more likely than not – pro Mousavi and middle class. We don’t even know if they are voices from inside the country. 

Ken Ballen and Patrick Doherty write “Much commentary has portrayed Iranian youth and the Internet as harbingers of change in this election. But our poll found that only a third of Iranians even have access to the Internet, while 18-to-24-year-olds comprised the strongest voting bloc for Ahmadinejad of all age groups.”

And on the other side , the Iranian authorities jammed BBC services  (and other foreign broadcasters), stopped text messages and net access in the days after the result came out, and currently reporters there – again including ours – are working under restrictions.

So it’s not as if it’s just one side trying to “control the message”. 

So is it hard to get to the truth in Iran  ?


111 Responses to “Who do you trust to tell you what’s happening in Iran ?”


  1. 1 victor koros
    June 19, 2009 at 11:08

    The media will always be our eyes and ears in the parts of the world that we are not able to get to.Those blaming and criticising media are hell bent and are looking for an escape goat for their woes

  2. June 19, 2009 at 11:29

    Salaam. I highly doubt that those bloggers, tweeters, and Facebookers truely represent ordinary Iranian citizens all over Iran… In fact what I do see right now is that a small fraction of the Iranian people is getting all of the attention it’s seeking for from the outside world and the Western media b/c its members are highly educated, more vocal, better connected to the outside world via the web, and speak pretty good English, and all of that has enabled them to capture the attention of the Western media including the BBC and give the impression that they’re the true representatives of the will of the Iranian people, but in fact they aren’t b/c their numbers just do not qualify… Those people aren’t revolutionary at all, they’re just too dramatic and noisy…

    • 3 Vijay
      June 19, 2009 at 18:07

      WHO DO TRUST TO TELL YOU WHAT’S happening in Iran?

      I get all my news and analysis from
      http://www.twitter.com/alyssa_milano ,good as any other new media source,she really hearts the whole situation,complete with green overlay for her avatar.

      I prefer to get my news and current affairs information from BBC World Service radio English language service .I listen on shortwave 15.31MHz and 5.975MHz.

      There isn’t any need to trust any news source just think about what they report ,what they don’t report, how they report it etc..ie think critically.

      @Lubna well said I agree with you on this one,media types talking to media types ,they don’t know what motivates the actions of the ordinary citizens

    • June 20, 2009 at 10:01

      Lubna, Seeing you doubt the social networks tells me that you are out of touch with modern days technology and so i am convinced that you could even doubt your photo. It is amazing to hear you say a small fraction of the Iranian people are getting all of the attention it is seeking from the outside world. To me you seems like a strong supporter and beneficiary of the Islamic establishment. It is also interesting to know how you have been blinded and brainwashed by a backward thinking establishment. There is nothing wrong with that as it is one of the benefits of democracy (The right to Freedom of expression)funny isn’t it? but remember that we are taught not to lie. How could you explain the report of the Mayor of Tehran which says there were about three million protesters on the street of Tehran on Monday? Talking about this small fraction of people who are highly educated and so could speak pretty good English, how come you are not one of them when you article is well written with very good grammer? Also, are you implying that only a few thousands voted for the opposition? Why do you think the voter turnout was so high? Knowing the Iranians, if it were true that the elections were not rigged, supporters of the winning party could have poured out on the streets to counter the opposition as was the case with the revolution, do you agree? I know you won’t. It would also be interesting to hear your side of the lies as to why your authorities disrupted communication services in and outside Iran from the very day of the elections and impose restrictions on foreign reporters. No matter which answer you give, I will categorically telegram it to you that you and the authorities were hiding something. What century are you in – 14th century? I see. man, we have long past that era please pull up and catch up with the 21st century. Hello!. I am dissappointed that a person of your intelligence could be so blinded by a so-call backward thinking system whose leaders enjoys supressing peoples’ rights in the name of “Islamic Democracy” Is there any such thing as Islamic Democracy? I expected that people of your type would be role models that would enlighten others through a peaceful means like the protesters are doing for a better Iran. Please note that in democracy, even if it is a single person he/she is qualified for rights. Mind you, the protesters are not leading a revolution but rather crying or asking for their rights. But, I am afraid that the way your “Democrtic Islamic establishment” is handling this sensitive issue with threats of crackdown is dangerous.If it is not careful, I foresee a sweeping revolution that would change Iran and benefit Iranians including you. When that happens I would be glad to hear from you with all honesty how you feel. Come out and get a taste of democracy you will know what I am talking about.

    • June 20, 2009 at 18:30

      I wish that these protests represent the will of the people of Iran to overcome the tyranny of a repressive government and to rejoin the world.

    • 6 Mikhail
      June 21, 2009 at 09:46

      Well said. The loosers always insist that the elections’ result were rigged. Western mass-media evidently support any opposition to any leader they don’t like, they are not interested in just elections.

  3. 7 john in Germany
    June 19, 2009 at 11:36

    Most Probably.
    Where there is only a controlled media ,it will always be used for Propaganda.

    John in Germany

    • 8 Peter_scliu
      June 19, 2009 at 19:09

      Trust not what anyone say. Be analytical and ask the right question. Things must add up. Never jump to any conclusions , continue questioning. Truth can sometimes reveal itself a thousand years later. Western news media wants stories that sells and must be sensational. Government media promote themselves.
      It will be stupid ve believe anything but your own eyes. That too can be deceptive. Many see what they want to see.

  4. 9 Ibrahim in UK
    June 19, 2009 at 12:26

    The online tools are being used by the protestors to tell their story, that is their right.
    It is the media’s responsibility to verify these stories before presenting them to the viewer as undisputed fact. It is also the responsibility of the media to proportionately seek and present without bias the views of all sides. The media (including the BBC), whether intentionally or unintentionally, are failing on both these responsibilities and as a result, their news broadcasts are distorting the truth, and in some cases, appearing to take sides and acting as little more than propaganda mouthpieces.

    • 10 RightPaddock
      June 19, 2009 at 14:49

      @Ibrahim in UK – I agree with everything you’ve said, except I would write “The media (especially the BBC) whether … “, my impression is that CNN’s reportage on recent events in Iran is more balanced than the BBC’s.

      IMO the BBC’s is increasingly substituting partisanship and contrarianism for scepticism. It needs a new board of management who will enforce a return to decent journalistic standards, where the BBC reports the news instead of being the news.

      And the BBC seems to be obsessed with the medium and is increasingly ignoring the message. The percentage of internet users who subscribe to Twitter and Facebook is less than 10%, the BBC seems to think its closer to 90%.

      I’m listening to Julian Marshall interviewing an Iranian journalist, almost every question is “loaded”, i.e. Marshall presents an opinion, presumably his own, and invites the invitee to respond, a technique much favoured by the yellow press. The idea that Ayatollah Khamenei has undermined his own authority by responding to the protests is preposterous; I wonder what the BBC would have said had he not responded, that he was running scared, no doubt.

      • 11 Jessica in NYC
        June 19, 2009 at 17:04

        @ RightPaddock re Ibrahim in UK comment.

        It seems to me this a classic example of what came first the chicken or the egg. Agreed that the media does give credence to the protesters, but that is their job. To hear both sides of the story and report what is happening, no? What else is there for us to listen to when Iran has banned and controls main stream media. Personally, I appreciate hearing from the protesters, something we would normally not hear from.

        I disagree that CNN is less biases than the BBC. The “host” (not anchors) on CNN are some of the most opinionated bunch in all of the news networks. In general, I find American journalist have all moved away from telling a story and instead create a story and inject their opinions more than the British media– ’tis why we are having this dialogue here and not on CNN’s blog.

      • June 20, 2009 at 10:22

        RightPaddock, I think you made some salient ponts but I disagree with your view of the way Ayatollah Khamenei is responding to the protesters is not preposterous. If you are analytical enough you would see the clear dangers he is putting Iran in and even his own position. Ok, let us say that a million people defy him and take to the streets, will he kill all of them? Have you ever imagined how sustained and violent these demonstrations could turn if the opposition leaders are arrested or assassinated? There is no minor political violence and besides political violence can be very unpredictable. Even though he has responded, from his response you could clearly tell that he is running scared and of course lacks political maturity in handling such crisis. His response has also confirmed the traits of dictatorship.

      • June 20, 2009 at 14:56

        I do believe it is a fair criticism that the BBC no longer provides balanced or objective journalism. I relate this with great sadness that this once great organization is now solely in the entertainment business. More Click, Hardtalk and sports and celebrity discussions are what is needed.

        There was much discussion before the Iran election that a high turnout would ensure the reelection victory of the government. This is no longer referred to in reportings or analyses.

        Of course Iran does not have a liberal democratic government just like the UK and North America. They have a religious democracy and we have elite democracies.

        Jim Devin
        Toronto.

    • 14 Ramesh, India
      June 19, 2009 at 17:28

      I like to share one incident that happened in my place. An unknown piligrim has donated a couple of millions of turkish liras at Tirupathi temple. The local media thought it would be worth of lot of indian repees and sensationalised it. Only after a day and verification of the real value, people came to know it is just worth a few hundreds of indian rupees! The point I am trying to make is that the media can not be accurate all the times.

      • 15 Jessica in NYC
        June 19, 2009 at 18:09

        Good point, but isn’t it the media to job to tell facts?

      • June 20, 2009 at 10:27

        Ramesh you made a very good point but folks are failing to realize how difficlt it could be to operate under such restrictions like what is happening in Iran. The fact is, no matter how wrong the media is, there must be some iota of truth in most of what its reports.

  5. 17 Deryck/Trinidad
    June 19, 2009 at 12:55

    “Is the media being used to distort the truth in Iran?”

    I can’t answer the question because I don’t know what the truth is and therefore it would be injudicious to give an answer.The issue is shrouded in opacity.

  6. June 19, 2009 at 13:04

    The Iranian authorities are helping the distortion of the events in Iran by preventing major news agencies to directly cover the protests by being at the scenes.Anyone can report anything on individual pages without the possibility of utter verification. Someone on Youtube broadcasts a person injured in a fight as being beaten up by the police.

    Even massive protests can seem for some as minority protest with negligible effect as in other parts of Iran; especially the countryside, people are understandably contented with the re-election of Ahmadinajed.

    Credible media should objectively report what’s going on. What is interpreted by some media as major events can be seen as a minor events staged by crowds manipulated by factions and parties with a political agenda to be in power instead of remaining under the power of current leaders.

  7. 19 Alby
    June 19, 2009 at 14:04

    the social media is the bastion of a global elite…that is very clear, and not democratic

    they may someday be able to throw off a dictator…since a dictator only impedes the elite too everyone would benefit as long as new rights are shared equally with everyone, which is usually not the case with elites

    but, they probably don’t represent the Iranian people as a whole, or any people as a whole

    history seems to say that revolutionaries always come from middle-classes…

    perhaps why the conservatives in the US have been hellbent on dismantling the middle-class the last 3 decades, and now in other places like France! Social media may be able to start to stem that tide in that case.

    But, probably not in Iran.

    • June 20, 2009 at 10:38

      Alby, please note that where people are determined for a just cause, nothing is impossible. We have seen what happened in Iran itself during the late 70s, we have seen what happened in Ukraine in reecent years, we have seen what is going on in many parts of the world with peaceful orange revolutions. Iran and I mean Iran is not immune to this especially the way the authorities are handling this crisis.

  8. 21 Henk
    June 19, 2009 at 14:13

    Of course, the media is used to distort the truth, that is often what they are paid to do.

    I don’t see this as a Twitter revolution. I do see this as a revolution with few windows for the outside world to look through. Twitter is one of those windows. TwitPic is one of those windows. YouTube is one of those windows. The BBC is one of those windows. Asia times is one of those windows. On occasion, the US MSM is one of those windows.

    As information consumers, we can only take the sources we are able to find, and make our own judgments as to their veracity and value. To make good judgments, it helps to be critical, and not credulous.

    I wish we had more credible media. It is not good for the world for so much of the broadcast media to largely reflect only the interests of the powerful

  9. 22 Meir Avrahami
    June 19, 2009 at 14:20

    Clearly there is a torrent of bad feeling over falsification of election results & there are more than enough signs something is rotten in Iran

    At the same time foreign news agencies should examine more carefully if what they are reporting reflects the mood of the country

    Meir in Israel

    • 23 RightPaddock
      June 19, 2009 at 17:08

      @Meir – Can a “country” even have a mood.

      I think I’m right in saying that not everyone in Israel voted for Netanyahu & Liberman, would you think it appropriate for me to characterise Israel’s mood as one which is opposed to a two-state solution.

      Surely all countries, no matter how repressive or liberal the governing regime, are pluralistic. I’d like the media to reflect the full range of moods, rather than a group think synthesis of what their journalists perceive to be a composite mood which probably represents no one real persons actual feelings.

  10. 24 Ann
    June 19, 2009 at 14:23

    I have heard and can sympathise with the concerns and demands of the protesters, but I would simply repeat what I said a few days ago…

    I would really like to ask the following question to some of the Iranian people who are not tweeterers, twitterers, bloggers or university educated English speakers….

    How do you feel about the results of the election in your country?

    I think this question will remain unanswered, because frankly I think it’s somewhat arrogant of us (me included) to think that our opinion matters to the Iranian people.

    But I really would genuinely like to know two sides of the story. And if anyone can help me to understand – I thank you most kindly.

  11. 25 Athena
    June 19, 2009 at 14:51

    I trust no ONE. I watch several mainstream and International media,follow several social networks. I listen to inflection of audio reports, notice choice of words of written reports, compare,digest, filter, and arrive at my own conclusions. We cannot be lazy by accepting without question reports from any one source. When you hear or read something and think to yourself… Wait a minute….that can’t be right… you are probably onto something!

    • 26 KAJ
      June 23, 2009 at 09:33

      Right on Athena. How can one trust Media when we all know how they sensessionalise any news, worthy or not, to attract veiwers/buyers/listeners. In the current affairs related to Iran, one surely can not trust the Iranian news, though surprisingly it might have a good percentage of truth about it and definitly I don’t trust the western media who are always looking for the negative side of the regime in Iran. I am not a pro Islamic state in Iran (am Iranian but live out of Iran) but I also don’t like it when all the world is bent on distorting the truth about Iran. It can not be that there has never been anything good done by this regime.

  12. 27 John in Salem
    June 19, 2009 at 14:58

    My dog says it’s a silly question and that we shouldn’t believe ANYTHING we hear but then, he eats cat poop so I’m not sure I trust his opinion either.

    • 28 Ann
      June 19, 2009 at 15:14

      John, that made me laugh out loud -cheers – I needed that today🙂

      • 29 patti in cape coral
        June 19, 2009 at 15:38

        My dog eats cat poop too, haven’t been able to get her to stop yet! At this point I don’t know what to believe at all. At first I accepted the first interpretation of the majority of Iranians being against the election results, then it was reported that this was not the case. I’m totally skittish about accepting anything as fact at this point, and how could we know anything for sure if the media is not being allowed in? I also agree with some of the bloggers that the moderator on yesterday’s show seemed very biased. Even so, I love WHYS.

  13. 30 Zainab from Iraq
    June 19, 2009 at 15:04

    Salam alycom all WHYRers, how are you?
    In fact I don’t trust all kinds of media, be it: tv or radio or internet, or journals..(due to a personal experience) and because media IS biased.
    There are hundreds of tv channels that show the good side of the Iranian election..cuz they are with the Iranian government..and on the other hand, there are hundreds of tv channels that present the bad side cuz they’re against it. Which is to believe is of course due to the person’s perferance, whether he is with or against the Iranian government. Actually this is a general case, I mean it is not only with this election, but with all issue.
    But the question is why is this interest in this election, why don’t we leave Iran to the Iranian.

    p.s i missed all WHYSers and happy to be with you again

    • June 20, 2009 at 11:28

      Zainab, I think I can understand where you are coming from. As far as I can understand where you are coming from, I can as well tell why you don’t trust the media. The reason is, you are not used to free media as was the case during Sadam’s reign where the media could only report what the government say it should. If I should attempt to answer your question of why the interest in this elections? the interest is because the world is interdependent. If anything bad happens to Iran, in one way or the other it would affect Iraq, it would also affect other parts of the world either directly or indirectly. Just remember, I m sorry if this is reminds you of bitter memories of the bad things that happened in Iraq. But, it is true that what happened and what is happening in Iraq right now is affecting not only the Iraqi people, but people in Syria, Jordan, America and even poor Africa not to talk of Asia and other areas. The current economic meltdown is also as a result of the Iraq war. If you don’t agree, imagine spending almost twelve billion dollars every month for five years or so, till the coffers run dry and you start borrowing from neighbors till they go broke too. What do you think would happen? I am not defending the media but I trust the BBC and CNN that are not too heavily sensored by their governments.Good to have you back on WHYS.

      • 32 KAJ
        June 23, 2009 at 09:40

        AlieB,The governments don’t need to sensore the media, they do it freely. They might not lie but they sure know how to misrepresent the news.I always listen to BBC on my way to work and back but it doesn’t mean I believe all they say. One can always sense when they are being biase maybe for sheer reason of causing some excitement in their listners.Don’t be naive, western media is not free.It is run by a greater force and that is greed for money.Iran/Iraq and the rest of the 3rd world countries’ media is sensored and at least we all know that. There is no pretence in free media and unbiase news.

  14. 33 hassan from Chicago
    June 19, 2009 at 15:14

    Since the media’s job is to report to the people all over the world what is going on in the world, it is their job to do it responsibly, with integrity, and transparency.

    I do follow the media but I do it with a suspicious mind and heart.

    Let’s take the US media for example and their coverage of the middle eastern affairs, when the elections were conducted in Egypt and Hosni Moubarak won nobody protested, nobody doubted their transparency, whether they were rigged or not, even if the people thought they were.

    When the elections were conducted in Iran and just after the results were announced, all American tvs were flooded with commentaries and so called experts (with their agendas) saying that the elections were indeed rigged and that the results were illegal. It’s like they were the election judges.

    So the American media always attack elections in countries that are friendly to them and they are very soft and friendly with countries that are not. Case in example Egyptian and Iranian elections.

    I watch BBC and Aljazeera and other media outlet like Radio France Internationale.

    But at the end, every media has some sort of an agenda and that really in my opinion taints their credibility with suspicions.

    Thank you for taking my comments.

  15. 34 gary
    June 19, 2009 at 15:25

    Added to the fact that independent, unbiased reporters do not exist in Iran, domestic disputes (of which this is an excellent example) seldom generate much truthful comment. The world would best consider all Iranian voices as suspect. If one side or the other seems abusive or naive; let it be so. Injuries to family are never forgotten. Unwise choices haunt the chooser forever. Currently, the Iranian people have the government they want and deserve. Perhaps in future they may choose differently.
    g

  16. 35 Tom K in Mpls
    June 19, 2009 at 15:42

    This has become a trial on personal digital media more than a valid comment on Iran. I think personal digital media is properly getting knocked down a couple of notches. More than not, it is as valid as the protests of students. And in the same way. It is a disproportional display of the way things will be.

  17. 36 Paymaan
    June 19, 2009 at 16:16

    Who ever I trust, it won’t be none of national TV, supreme leader, interior ministry (and none of ministries at all), AhmadiNejad himself, and anybody related to government.

    We all have seen what has happened during race for election, how they tried to tell anything but people’s idea on TV, and we are familiar how they make propaganda to get their desired effect.

    This time, whatever they did, was not suitable, as people of Iran always were different from such cruel behaviour. Iranians generally do not believe in cruelty, and when they recruit street hooligans and murderers along Basijis to stab and beat people, Even those who believe in them slowly get farther.

    Overall, I believe on what I see, and what I did NOT see on TV while it should be there, and what I saw on polling stations, and my friends who were involved in polling and in streets, and more than that, I also believe on 20 years of experience living inside Iran and watching supreme leader lie in our face.

    Even considering those potato cashing people from far sides of country, Ahmadi Nejad could not have any more than 5, 6 million votes in this country. This time, even Martyrs’ families which their names are always abused by government to do whatever they want, were against Ahmadi Nejad.

    Also religious leaders all issued Fatwa’s against voting for A. N., I don’t know how you as professional journalists still have doubt of what has happened, and how they use cinematic tricks to show they are much more than opposition.

    History will show who is right and who is faking to be right.

    P.

  18. 37 RightPaddock
    June 19, 2009 at 16:21

    Who do I trust

    Well not the BBC World Service which is funded by the British Foreign Office. As a result it is ultimately accountable to the British Foreign Secretary, along with Secret Intelligence Service (MI6).

    MI6 was responsible, along with the CIA, for the overthrow of the elected government of Iran in 1953 after it nationalised the oil industry.

    Most of the EU is keen to see a change of regime in Iran so that its natural gas can be piped to the EU via Turkey thus reducing the EU’s dependence on Russian gas.
    The exception is Germany which favours a northern pipeline from Russia straight into Germany, this would allow Germany to share in the financial benefits and strategic advantage of having a monopoly over the EU energy supplies.

    • 38 Ann
      June 19, 2009 at 17:05

      Don’t mean to sound petty RightPaddock but actually the BBC is funded by the license payers in the UK.

      • 39 RightPaddock
        June 21, 2009 at 14:22

        Not the BBC World Service, Ann

        The English language World Service is a commercial service funded by fees from rebroadcasters whilst the foreign language

      • 40 RightPaddock
        June 21, 2009 at 14:26

        @Ann

        The English language World Service is a commercial service primarily funded by fees from rebroadcasters.

        The foreign language World Service is funded by the Foreign Office, which is of course ultimately funded by British taxpayers

        The BBC domestic services are funded by the license fees

  19. 41 Deryck/Trinidad
    June 19, 2009 at 16:25

    It’s very hard to get the truth because the local and foreign reporters during their reports are giving opinions based on what they have heard instead of reporting the facts- the few that there is.

  20. 43 VictorK
    June 19, 2009 at 16:34

    The Anglophone media seem to have done a poor job so far. They’ve not put events into any meaningful historical context – from Mossadegh to the current rivalry between Ayatollahs Khameini and Montazeri – have failed to distinguish the essential from the trivial (the Iranian Presidency – unlike, say, the Guardian Council, which is hardly ever reported on – doesn’t merit this much attention), and have failed to make any connections with key geostrategic interests & issues (such as the determination of a powerful American lobby to provoke a war with Iran and install a ‘democratic’ regime that will be compliant to US and Israeli – and Iran, along with Syria and Saudi Arabia, is one of the neocons’ chronic targets for destruction – the other regime they had in their sights, Saddam’s Iraq, now falls under the heading of ‘mission accomplished’).

    I wish the BBC and others could report Iran with as great a sense of past history, the bearing of current events, and the significance of various global interests as this piece by Paul Craig Roberts
    http://www.chroniclesmagazine.org/index.php/2009/06/19/iran-faces-greater-risks-than-it-knows/

  21. 44 Annelene
    June 19, 2009 at 16:40

    The leaders in Iran have so far been able to hold the people down, but with modern cameras on cellphones makes it difficult for those in power to prevent the truth and the pictures from coming out, even though they have tried shutting down the mobile network.

  22. 45 G W H
    June 19, 2009 at 16:48

    Apparently Khamenei is the new Shah of Iran and this is the new revolution.

  23. 46 anu Dighe
    June 19, 2009 at 16:54

    The online bloggers and twitters are generaly honest and believable.

    BUT they represent a very small portion of the Iranian population.

    The problem with the Iran situation is that perhaps 5% of the Iranian population, with access to internet and knowing Enlish…. are making all the noises and sounds heard by the outside world, giving the mis-impression that they represent ALL of Iran.

    anu Dighe
    Kuwait

  24. 47 Annelene
    June 19, 2009 at 16:58

    There is a major difference between the supporters of Ahmadinajad and the demonstrators who oppose him, which the western media has so far not commented on, and that is that those demonstrating in opposition are risking their health and even lives to be out on the street. Those in support Ahmadinajad risk nothing.

    It is dangerous to oppose the establishment, and twittering allows people to tell the truth without risking their lives.

  25. 48 Seán
    June 19, 2009 at 17:00

    It’s all propaganda, everybody has an axe to grind. Unless we’re there on the ground we should only believe half of what we see and none of what we hear. All the same I hope the Iranian people get to the truth and that it sets them free.

  26. 49 shafi in Bahrain
    June 19, 2009 at 17:03

    salaam.. Well said anu… let BBC do a quick survey of the percentage of internet savvy mass against the total population of iran… That will give the weightage for their news…

  27. 50 irfan@indonesia
    June 19, 2009 at 17:05

    cutting the media is NOT the way to solve the problem

  28. 51 John in Salem
    June 19, 2009 at 17:12

    Annelene~
    Give me a digital picture of Iranian police shooting protestors and in 10 minutes I can PhotoShop it into a picture of protestors shooting police.

    You can’t just believe anything you SEE, either.

  29. 52 Alireza
    June 19, 2009 at 17:28

    I was looking at discussion panel whether to accept the main stream media or those new born one, facebook, twitter, etc. and of course there were opinion from all over the spectrum:
    As an Iranian who now lives in Canada I have couple of points and perhaps complain. Not sure if you wish to publish this, but I will write!:)

    1. Why most pro Mr. Ahmadi Nedjad(AN) on your station were from Arab speaking counties!

    2. So, if Arabs are pro AN, and they say their opinion about Iran,
    I can be pro Israeli and say it is the truth that the land belongs to Israeli who have been there for centuries, what have small population of Arabs anything to say about the land doesn’t belong to them!! get them out of there!

    2. back to discussion panel, those who are pro-AN, and live in countries like Netherlands (specifically, Amsterdam ), why not going to Israel and fight with those who they think their values must be saved!

    3. Your Journalist in Iran says that they have been under much of limitation to cover opposition rallies, doesn’t that explain a lot?? if things are free and people can say what they wish, why limiting media and BCC for instances!!

    4. Those who don’t trust news in Iran from sources like BBC, please go and stay one night in Islamic government of Iran prison and then perhaps after that stay those will learn oh, they may even believe the things they have not believed before!!!
    Those people in Iran go through big hassle to broadcast what they capture on Iran streets and those pro-AN have hard time to believe…

    5. The BBC’s team of correspondents do a great job, I would like to specifically thank Mr. Jon Leyne for his near unbiased work. (Also BBC Persian service)

  30. 54 Pavan
    June 19, 2009 at 17:29

    Democracy must be a system which adapts to the local people and culture. The western democracy is not a universal system. Thus western government must not impose their system else rebellion would break and innocent would die. Vietnam communiste were not Soviet Union or Chinesse communism.

  31. 55 Pavan
    June 19, 2009 at 17:36

    The world is a global village but virtually. In fact, this world is so diverse and one section of the world cannot impose their culture , values and political system on others. We want freedom but freedom which build the society and the country as a whole not which destroys the social peace, fragile economy and ecology.

  32. 56 stephen/ portland, Oregon
    June 19, 2009 at 17:53

    BBC.

    I am a Brit living in Portland, Or and let me tell you the News stations in the United States are polarized from far right to far left.

    I don’t trust reports from news stations that sell advertising space to the very companies and organizations that provide them with all their revenue. How can you give any negative press to the companies that keep you afloat?

    The BBC gets its funds from Radio and Television license fees that the people purchase every year for about $200, That means there are no commercials or big Media barons manipulating facts to suite there own narrow agenda. Rupert Murdoch and his Fox Noise network is just one that comes to mind!

    Lets keep media barons out of the news business!

    Go BBC!

  33. 57 Michel Norman
    June 19, 2009 at 18:00

    I think it would be an excellent idea if we keep our hands out of Iran and its internal politics, so long as they keep their long range rockets and “peaceful” nuclear energy out of our country!!

  34. 58 steve/oregon
    June 19, 2009 at 18:02

    I don’t know if the Iranian elections were rigged or not as i am not there and have no proof either way…. from what i have seen on you tube and around the blogisphere I do not believe the Iranian gov is handling this issue the best possible way. The supreme leader like said before should be a uniter of his people. If he did not want to sponsor a new election that is up to him his aggressive tone did not help the situation in my opinion. That being said there has to be something said for the government not trying to stop all media going out of the country. This screams we have something to hide which is why alot of us believe the vote was rigged had they had the election and tons of protesters came out against the winner and the government said to the world…..

    Come report on how grand our democracy is we had an 85% turn out. Our people are not happy but they have the freedom to protest and raise there concerns. We will look into there concerns and resolve this issue.

    If this stance had been adopted there would be alot better vision of the iranian governement in the worlds eyes. Instead the gov has chosen to adopt a dictorial stance…… IE we must not let the world see us having problems controling our populace this could make us look bad, when actually that stance is making them look much worse.

    The fact he blamed the west for the problems in his government. Is well childish instead of saying why are my people upset and how can i unite the country. He said its all there fault not mine
    Mr supreme leader he who points the finger has 4 more pointing back at him.

  35. 59 Paul
    June 19, 2009 at 18:02

    There has been much discussion in many countries regarding the validity of the election results and what, if anything, should be done about it.

    When Geroge Bush beat John Kerry in the U.S. Election, many questioned the validity of those results.

    What do you think the reaction would have been in the U.S. if other countries had discussed taking action to find out if that election was rigged?

  36. 60 Nate, Portland OR
    June 19, 2009 at 18:13

    From what I’ve seen the protests have been very large and include far more than just young educated elites who use Twitter, Facebook, etc. In particular there seem to be a lot of middle-aged women. Is it not likely that the internet-savvy English speakers are getting a message out for a much larger swath of the population? That message may be filtered (distorted?) through young, educated eyes, but I find it hard to believe that these massive protests are simply the irresponsible doings of dramatic noisy young whipersnappers who don’t know their place.

    Maybe its just the media I use, but I’ve seen almost as much “are our biases making us see this all wrong” hand-wringing as I’ve seen actual coverage. I say as long as foreign media are prevented from investigating and vote counting is completely opaque, coverage should focus on the claims of those that are risking their lives (there’s rumblings the Basij, heroic Islamic defenders of poor Iranians that they are, will be out in force soon) in huge numbers for what they believe in.

  37. 61 Steve in Boston
    June 19, 2009 at 18:19

    I don’t trust anyone to tell us what’s going on in Iran. That’s why we in the west should stay out of it.

  38. 62 MIGUEL (California)
    June 19, 2009 at 18:23

    If the Iranian government did not have anything to hide, they would let the world free press to report. All the news that Iran has are authorized and filtered by the government defeating the purpose of free press. This are sings that elections were tinted.

  39. 63 Deryck/Trinidad
    June 19, 2009 at 18:26

    Good point by your caller about what is the percentage of the people in Iran who have access to the internet and to smartphones with internet access.

  40. 64 Keyvan in San Francisco
    June 19, 2009 at 18:30

    Based on some recent reports there are only 5 foreign Journalists left in Iran. If those who claim that Twitter and Facebook and other methods may be misleading or not representative, then why does the Iranian government not allow more Journalist into Iran?

    Why did they ban those already there from attending the opposition rallies?

    Why are they not renewing visas?

    I have listened to this program all week and have heard little about the suppression of press (both domestic and foreign) in Iran. If there is no free press or access, then it is the moral imperative of Iran youth to get their view by any means available to them..

  41. 65 Curtis Edson
    June 19, 2009 at 18:32

    Look…the media is responsible for much of how people percieve reality, whether it is true reality or not. I think that it is very important, just like with any research, that we consult many sources. One should not rely only on the media in his perception of the world. We should understand the culture through the study of history, cultual geography, religion, etc. We cannot possibly fully understand a culture without living in it, and we must therefore be very careful about the media agenda.

    The western media has a Western perspective, and we must be very careful of our one sided perspective. We cannot possibly know a culture without careful study, and more importantly living in the culture. If we judge a system based on a one sided perspective, we risk blunders in judgement. We made that mistake in invading Iraq. We did not understand the culture and how it would receive American troops.

  42. 66 Deryck/Trinidad
    June 19, 2009 at 18:37

    At the beginning Khamenei got his speech right but then he went off.

    I listened and twittered a few points and Khamenei was conciliatory for the most part because he praised all the candidates for their involvement in the revolution and service to the country. Closer to the end though he said the street challenge is not acceptable. Both sides should stop or there will be consequences.

    He basically blamed the enemies of Iran as the instigators of the unrest in Iran while the crowd of men shouted ‘Death to Israel’

  43. 67 DOLAPO AINA
    June 19, 2009 at 18:43

    Ordinarily or in the normal circumstance, we ought to get the news from the independent media houses in Iran. But since, this isnt possible now, we have no chouice but to wait patiently for news, pictures, blogs etc coming or being churned out by the ordinary Iranians. We have to make do with what comes out of the country.

    If the different amateur feedback werent true, reflective or pugnant of the present situation in Iran, why are the authorities hell bent on squashing the flow of information? It is glaring they are scared of the unknown.
    Dolapo Aina,
    Lagos, Nigeria

  44. 68 Deryck/Trinidad
    June 19, 2009 at 18:48

    It’s sad that the Iranian speakers for Mousavi and Ahmadinejad aren’t offering any concrete proof to bolster their points and instead the discussion is becoming an argument with the speakers going off on a tangent.

    Good luck Ros in keeping the peace on air.

  45. 69 Keyvan in San Francisco
    June 19, 2009 at 18:50

    My Thoughts on The Supreme Leader Speech today:

    It is both sad and surreal when Political and Religious leaders ignore blunt reality. To blame the mass demonstrations in Tehran and other major cities on “Zionist” entities is the laughable broken record that may not play this time. He did not offer any hope to those that have been in the streets all week.

    So the people have to fight for their freedom against a ruthless and heartless goverment. Now, I am full of dread that many Iranians might get killed in the coming days.

    I beg the Iranian Upper classes and Diasporra to support the youth. middle class, and disaffected that will risk much by going out and protesting under threat of physical harm. Do not run into your homes and just complain about the regime while sipping your tea. Find ways to help this movement lead to something.

    I also am gratefull to all Free Net Activists the world over that are trying to fight the severs of the censors of the Iranian Guidance ministry. You are doing something that is morally right.

  46. 70 Deryck/Trinidad
    June 19, 2009 at 18:52

    A picture tells a thousand words and the story might not be that lenghty.

  47. 71 Deryck/Trinidad
    June 19, 2009 at 18:54

    You can’t trust pictures if you don’t know the background of the story behind the pictures.

  48. 72 Tom D Ford
    June 19, 2009 at 18:56

    I usually listen to NPR in the US but I remind myself that when Bush/Cheney got into office they purged NPR and replaced them with Conservatives, so I take everything with a grain of salt and a wary ear.

    Obama needs to purge NPR and install moderates!

  49. 73 stephen/ portland, Oregon
    June 19, 2009 at 18:57

    When a journalist puts his or her name to a story they are putting their reputation on the line. What does a bloger risk?

    • 74 Omid Rad
      June 20, 2009 at 09:19

      the bloger risks his life.

      The intimation here is that the news that is arriving via social networking is untrue and false or one-sided.

      Are people not looking carefully enough, the protests are nationwide and not just in Tehran. Also, can anyone falsify a crowd of hundreds of thousands.

      Disbelievers have plagued history – the Church believed Earth to be flat and the centre of the Universe.

      Mullahs believe women to be a baby factory and nothing else. What part of the human tragedy that has befallen Iran has escaped you people?

      Those who complain about the truth getting out will often be the first to cr foul when their own rights are removed from them

      let the voice of the oppressed be heard. Let the world decide who is telling the truth.

      If Ahmadinejad is SOOOOO certain he won overwhelmingly, then he should have no worry and run an election again – yet he chooses to kill and injure to defend his victory.

      These are not the actions of a glorious victor.

  50. 75 ARTHUR NJUGUNA
    June 19, 2009 at 19:00

    ON NEWS SOURCES
    I like listening to all news sources whenever I have a chance; genuine ones and even hypocrites. The latter reveal more than they are trying to hide and my advic e is that they should not be ignored. The real essence in the news is dependent on your digestion system. Our whole life is commercialized and for you to get what you need without getting conned depends on whether you can verify whether a product has been tampered with. In terms of news it is good to know what the agenda is from the opposing sides trying to market their won ideas.

    Trust me, this blog is quite valuable to me because it is only when I have read all the posts that I get a better balance. It is enlightening and I have often wondered why some people choose to give us their invented names while what they mostly write about is nothing to be ashamed off since it is genuine in most cases.

  51. June 19, 2009 at 19:31

    I would believe an online blogger living through the turmoil over a Government Official. I would believe any News Organization that’s not governed by any country to a state run group of puppets! Give me the people over the government.

  52. 77 anu D in Kuwait
    June 19, 2009 at 19:46

    Conditioned by Western media’s principles of “democratic protest for rights”…and making it appear fashionable to protest against Ahmedinijad,….the handful ( even a 100,000 is handful relative to the population of Iran)of protesters are now in serious danger if they continue to be on the streets with the Ayatullah having issued almost a warning to end protests.

    The western media have gotten their spicy stories, served their agenda to show popular unrest against the regime ( even if that means 5% population)…but have ended up putting those 5% at grave risk.

    anu D ( Kuwait)

  53. 78 David
    June 19, 2009 at 19:59

    The Media to tell the truth?? I beg your pardon.

    If the media tells the truth, then I tell the truth 100% at all time in my life.

    As for trust, I leave this question to the media.

  54. 79 Brian Jones
    June 19, 2009 at 20:14

    I very much enjoy listening to “World, have your say”. Today (19 june 2009) I wanted to join in the discussion about deveolpments in Iran, however I remained glued to my radio until the end of the program. I am not an Iranian expert. I have only met two Iranians in my whole life. I would like to respond to the radio program as an uninformed media comsumer.
    The complex social en political developments in Iran are far above most people’s understanding, including myself. As a “western” citizen one tends to think very much in black and white or good and bad. Also many people grasp the first information that they receive and base their views upon it. They do this often independently of the quality of the source.
    The first information that I recieved was that the election in Iran was a fraud. This information was broadly spread in many news media. I also picked up in a (short) report on BBC world service that the opposition in Iran was possibly spreading false information. Not the least of which being the claim of electoral victory.
    There we go again. Who do you believe and what is right and what is wrong? I feel that the media reports (I live in the Netherlands by the way) have given a generally negative impression of the honesty of the Iranian election. That does not mean that the election was fraudulent. It is also possible that the election result as announced is correct.
    Given these inconsistencies it shows great courage on the part of the spiritual leader to place his faith in the announced “results” of the election. He calls for an end to protest, something that any sensible person would do. Nobody in his right mind wants a new revolution in Iran. He would be well advised however to ascertain if there have been irregularities in the election and to come down harshly on the people responsible. He is after all answerable to God or Allah.
    A country nearly always gets the government it deserves, especially in a democracy. I have great faith in Iran and her people and I wish them the government and place in the the world that they deserve.

  55. 80 Elias
    June 19, 2009 at 20:34

    Only the BBC World Service Radio and TV. Whilst its difficult to report on the present crisis which has been restricted by the government of Iran, whatever filters through to the BBC is welcomed.
    It is typical for a politician in this case the Prime Minister Ahmadeneajad to conveniently be away in Moscow whilst Iranians are demonstrating in order not to face the music. More reason to think the election was rigged.
    With regard to the supreme leaders speech, he is trying to take the easier way out in the hope the army will subdue the demonstrators regardless of the loss of life to some of them.

  56. 81 Ramesh, India
    June 19, 2009 at 22:08

    There are reports that Mousavi is in big confusion on whether to continue protests after khameni unequivocally endorsed the election results. Come on Mousavi, at least now please stop pretending that you have democracy. Else, you woudn’t be worried about confronting Khameni. Please stop the drama and avoid any further bloodshed. Instead of pressing for re-election, I suggest you to press for electoral reforms within your own system.

  57. June 20, 2009 at 00:17

    I do trust the western news media to provide objective information as to what is going on in Iran. However the Ayatollah Ali Khamenei is a totalitarian (NOUN DELETED).

  58. 83 RightPaddock
    June 20, 2009 at 01:58

    How can it be morally right to pose as a resident of Iran as some “Tweeters & Bookers” are doing, by their own admission. Surely it is just as fraudulent and palpably immoral as rigging an election.

    This is yet another instance of post modern relativism that is plaguing western society. It is at the root of the culture of greed that has plunged many of the major countries into massive debt that future generations must repay.

    On the more general issue, I can accept the proposition that the Iranian authorities might rig an election, but I can’t accept that those same authorities are stupid. Why would they falsify the result to show a 66% vote for AJ, surely it would made more sense to have a narrower but equally decisive victory – eg give AJ 56%.

  59. 84 Kay Zare
    June 20, 2009 at 05:00

    The coverage of the Iranian question last night on BBC’s Your World was as farcical as anything I have witness in the last 8 days. Among the guests on your panel, not a single speaker was credentialed or accredited with any significant expertise. An adamant viewer of the BBC World Service, I have little doubt in the journalistic integrity of your organization so I must resolve myself in being highly disappointed and unsatisfied with your execution. On the issue of who can one trust over the news coming out of Iran, your panel was comprised of an Ahmadinejad supporter whose appearance–in bright pink headscarf and obvious rhinoplasty–seems largely to contradict her candidate’s politics (bright colors are frowned upon by the conservative establishment and are often the target of the Basij and morality squads touted by Mr. Ahmadinejad and others as guardians of the revolution). Also present was a “BBC Critic” who by his very comments exposed his title as little more than a thinly veiled alias for “government spokesperson,” and finally, a timid and highly ineloquent self proclaimed “non-expert” referred to as a Mousavi supporter.

    I appreciate the BBC’s ability and willingness to be self reflective, but to consider seriously the accusations of Ayatollah Khamenei’s attack on the foreign press as a substantive and legitimate criticism at a time when his own near absolute stranglehold on power is being questioned is a foolish and arguably irresponsible approach by your news service. It has been a long standing tradition of the clerical and conservative establishment to condemn the foreign press for domestic unrest within Iran. As the “BBC Critic” pointed out, Iranians have historical reason to be weary of British colonial intervention as in the 1953 coup against then PM Mossadeq, but as someone should point out to him, the current Islamic state he defend could not exist but for the aftermath of that coup. In fact there is further evidence to suggest the ultimate fall of the Shah and rise to power of Khomeini was largely supported if not orchestrated by “meddling foreign powers.”

    The state of suppression in Iran against demonstrators, journalists, reformists, activists and individuals is widely understood as a means to control the ambitions of the public and consolidate power in the clergy and military–to ponder at length the equal air time that ought to be given to supporters of such Draconian measures only validates the integrity of these actions and diminishes the efforts of the demonstrators, further emboldening the authoritarian state. Yet the BBC’s willingness to undermine it’s journalistic role and record questions the real news taking place in Iran–namely that millions of Iranians are demonstrating and risking their lives for the expansion of rights and liberties. It should be of no great surprise that a large portion of Iranians, mostly rural, religious and under-educated would come out in support of their religious leader (at his behest and with the full backing of state money, agencies and transport services) to support to status quo. That Ahmadinejad is popular in the rural districts and among the military guard is a refrain repeated endlessly on the BBC service, and in fact true and deserving repetition, but there is little that is compelling and unprecedented in a story that millions of under-educated religious groups and heavily invested military officials support to religious rule of a theocratic dictator. So if the BBC is considering offering equal time to dictators (a service that is already provided by state television in Iran, North Korea, Zimbabwe, Myanmar, Russia and elsewhere), then perhaps it could do so on another channel, one better equipped for fiction.

  60. June 20, 2009 at 06:56

    Are Twitters on Iran always in Englis? Is there a Farsi Twitter. Surely we are looking at a biased group: elite, young, diaspora

  61. 86 Omid Rad
    June 20, 2009 at 09:13

    They are killing my people, they are killing my youth, they are killing my voice, my voice of happiness and my voice of freedom.

    This is when words are more powerful than bullets. Stand up and be accounted for if you believe in your freedom because at some point in your society too, there where those who with their blood gave you the right to be FREE.

    Study your own history people of the world; FREEDOM has never been FREE

  62. June 20, 2009 at 10:41

    Great job. keep coming up this great resource

  63. June 20, 2009 at 12:24

    When news travels downstream it is often subject to being caught up in reeds, landing in stagnant pools or pitching up on muddy banks before completing its journey.

  64. 89 Liz Minnesota USA
    June 20, 2009 at 20:29

    I want to humbly thank the British people whose embassy is apparently accepting wounded protesters in Tehran today. I hope you are proud of your government’s response to this crisis and proud that your tax dollars are being used in support of human rights. For any World Service listeners who happen to be Finnish, German, Australian, Dutch, Norwegian, Belgian, Mexican, or Portuguese, I thank you, too, for opening your embassys’ doors to fellow human beings trying to express their political will. My country does not have an embassy in Iran at this time, but if we did I would want it to open wide its doors at this time.

  65. 90 Rod Grover (Prague)
    June 21, 2009 at 07:40

    Still in a bit of a quandary here. Last Monday on a BBC news program one of your BBC correspondents was talking to an American opinion research group who had conducted pre-election research in Iran (a broad sample he said) and they had found that Ahmadimijad had DOUBLE the support of Mousavi which corresponds to the election results. This interview was never repeated again and I couldn’t find any link to this research group on your website, i.e. it has disappeared when it should be informing many Western media!! It seems to me that because this evidence runs counter to the Western agenda (reformist and anti-theocratic), it has been dismissed and removed. The issue is more complicated now because Ahmadimijad won the election legitimately (and will again) and yet Western media continue to support the “revolutionary” angle which they infer has broad support (and gets them more eyeballs on the screen). Actually these latest events represent a much more divisive and dangerous schism in Iranian society – a civil war where a reformist minority (supported by the West) battles a legitimately elected conservative majority.

  66. June 21, 2009 at 08:07

    I am aware of what the world is. Governments are criminal enslaving their populous by any means using every knowledge that exist. I was born into this world and live in it but I am not in agreement with that called civilization. There is nothing that has any truth in it but the life in me. (Strong words meaning life and it’s quality determines truth and goodness.) Society fearfully is conformity but to a prison, created to abuse humanity of any locality. Radios are implanted in many individuals and they are used in every avenue of human involvement by many governments. Transmissions of brain waves are as well being broadcast to their populous and such subliminal transmissions are undetectable. Every iota of knowledge has been exploited before it has been addressed to the worlds people.

    With that said.. Iran has a chance for freedom that the Nuclear powers don’t. It is wrong to use the knowledge of life to subdue a living beings existence. To take away ones soul is to deny the importance of God the temple of every living being. Election fraud and every aspect of civilization is used against the identity of every living individual. The beginning is now, not after governments have furthered their madness and totally destroyed the Earth.

  67. 92 Zgambo
    June 21, 2009 at 10:44

    I can’t trust Western media on this topic. For example, not once have we been offered a substantial “analysis” of Iranian politics or the politicians.

    I’m disappointed with the BBC and other news sources for deliberately under-reporting so as to portray Mousavi as the hero and Ahmadinejad as the cackling, oily despot.

    Because of biased news, as far as the world is concerned Mousavi is a hero, an earnest liberator with earnest Western values.

    The BBC, CNN and the other ones all know this is not the case, but they won’t bother telling you about it.

  68. 93 Md.Bin Ali Gaber
    June 21, 2009 at 14:10

    alsaalam alikum .in fact all the people a round the world know that there are some people who control the laws in iran and there is nothing called demogratic in this country so the people should accept the election whoever the winner

  69. 94 Brian from Ca.
    June 21, 2009 at 18:34

    First hand mass information from the blogging community is a highly accurate source; historically speaking they would be classified as primary informants. I would argue more accurate than state or corporate media, which is often staged to reflect the political bias of the presenter or media source.
    As for Iran, the election is a fraud; outside media has been banned; the Supreme Leader has threatened peaceful dissent; Basij thugs are beating people while obeying orders rightful authority watches. Wake up! This is a tyranny! Enough with neutral objectivity! We’re having a tea party debate while Storm Troopers are beating innocents!
    The West needs to have confidence in its ideals and support the “right side of history” … freedom of ideas, expression and religion; honest elections; Liberty for ALL God’s children! Change will be painful. The regime will get nastier at home and abroad, but the great change that has been occurring ever since the defeat of fascism and communism is on the march! The question should be how can we help?

  70. June 21, 2009 at 19:00

    the simple fact that people are dying on a daily basis in Iran should be alarming enough to believe that something is wrong in Iran… weather the current president won fairly has ceased to matter… more important is how the current government has handled the situation… to close media outlets and then claim that the western media is working against them shows their fear of freedom. all this talk of microbloging being biased is laughable… of course it is… it is individuals posting without the backing of anyone other than the poster its self… but this doesn’t make the facts any less real to said individual… the images of iranian police beating civilians and dead iranians in the streets are enough for me to hope this process leads to change in the islamic world not just iran…

  71. June 21, 2009 at 19:07

    Omid Rad… no truer words have ever been spoken… I have often wondered in utter disbelief why oppressed people don’t rise up against their oppressors and shed blood for their own freedom… My countries origin has ingrained a strong sense of freedom and respect for what it costs… I would gladly lay down my life to give my children a better future… I hope all of this strife in Iran leads to something better for the Irainian people… and theentire muslem world for that matter…

  72. 97 Dennis Junior
    June 22, 2009 at 05:58

    I am trusting the BBC and CNN (and International Broadcasters)…Via, Social Networking Sites with what is happening in Iran…Right now…

    But, with the ongoing explusion of Western media Reps…How is the story going to be told in a unbiased fashion.

    ~Dennis Junior~

  73. 98 Dennis Junior
    June 22, 2009 at 06:03

    Question:

    Is the BBC and its staff; being denied access to file reports from Iran
    at this time?

    ~Dennis Junior~

  74. 99 Mohan
    June 22, 2009 at 09:58

    OPEN MIND

    Let us view this whole Iran Election issue with a broad & open mind.

    1. YEAR 2000 USA Election – Al Gore & Bush election results were
    INCONCLUSIVE & fraught with doubts of RIGGING
    WAS THE SOLUTION STREET PROTEST? VIOLENCE? VANDALISM? INFLAMMING THE SITUATION?
    SOLUTION: Resort to the Law Of the Land – Go to the Judiciary.
    After all what elections are for and what the Courts of Law are for?
    Was there any need of Elections if Streets were to be resorted to for settling disputes. If now the Courts do not do their duty, wenow have a very very strong case.

    2. Who will report 100% authentic news?
    Any news agency that has no vested interest,no affiliation with interested parties and independant body.Do we have one??????

    3. Besides Western nations work as a block and are at odds with Iran,which has been a thorn in its side and they wish Iran gone.
    Iran today, was Persia once and was a world power,its people are proud and these are unlike the other Middle eastern countries.
    In the past Iran has known what its like being under Shah/West domination.
    Will they trust the Western Journalists????

    For the sake of World Peace and inorder to Save the lives of more Iranians LET THE IRANIANS SETTLE THEIR ELECTION RESULTS THROUGH CIVILIZED PROCESSES OF THE LAW & GENERAL CONSENCUS.
    LET US NOT ADD MORE FUEL TO THE FIASCO !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  75. June 22, 2009 at 14:25

    There is simply no chance that the votes were counted at all. If the books of any business had these uniformly proportioned results, any auditor would have smelled a rat.The Supreme Leader was alarmed by the turnout itself and wants to suppress the very idea of democracy. The’ revolutionary council’ has decided to openly insult the people and kill anyone who takes umbrage. Next step:’facecrime’.

  76. 101 Ken from Santa Fe, New Mexico
    June 22, 2009 at 18:33

    The West has no choice but to question the legitimacy of an election which had no reliable advance polling, no voting station monitors representing each candidate, no exit polling by a free press, followed by banning both the opposition and foreign press from reporting. What’s not to be skeptical about?

  77. 102 Mitra
    June 22, 2009 at 20:12

    Gore-Bush elections, anyone?!

  78. 103 John LaGrua/New York
    June 22, 2009 at 22:47

    Media coverage is often shaded to create opinion held by a particular group.BBC coverage is clear ,concise and on site.and I trust it Other sources are critical to a full view and correct interpretation .A recent comments by Bryzinski and coverage by Christian Amanapour were also informative on the Iranian issues.The complex issues in the MidEast require reading ,study and thouhtful analysis, even for the layman, to form an intelligent opinion Too much depends on supporting wise and prudent policies amid the dinn from those who have a self serving agenda.Another Iraq and we are undone.!

  79. 104 Mark Victor
    June 23, 2009 at 01:58

    “Decrees…divinely inspired and absolute?” (BBC World Service 6/22 8:45pm)

    WOW!! I thought the former colonies that comprise part of my country settled that argument 225+ years ago. But now we have the reemergence of such a “divinely inspired” regime in Iran and maybe other countries. The dangers of such monarchies (and that basically is to what Iran is being reduced) have been continuously demonstrated in regime after regime around the world.

    Who can you believe? Certainly not a person or group of people who have deluded themselves into believing that they have a direct communication pipeline with the Divine.

  80. 105 Sunitha Goonetilleke
    June 23, 2009 at 06:17

    I am not sure whether the elections were a fraud or not, however, my concern is the way it is being reported. Iran has a population close to 70 million, and we do not know whether the majority of the people are objecting to the results. What the western media is reporting is what they hear from those Iranians who are westernised and have access to internet and other modern communication systems. I wonder how many Iranians , out of the 70 million ,have access to internet and are voicing their opinion. Hence I have to remain sceptical about what we get from the news media. I am sure there are Iranians who are not happy with the current Iranian regime, but are they really the majority.?? I am not supprting the regime, but would like the media to be more impartial.

  81. June 23, 2009 at 09:29

    It is purely a hypothetical situation that the theocratic regime will annul the announced result.Now the best the Iranians can do is to call off the agitation and return to normal duty.Meanwhile the discredited Mussavi and the people at large can work quietly for change.The Iranians and the regime will do better if they allow the world to negotiate and reach a permanent settlement to the nagging problems.

  82. 107 Anna
    June 23, 2009 at 09:39

    Who do I trust? Not the BBC…

  83. 108 William Beeby
    June 23, 2009 at 18:01

    It is hard to trust our western media in this situation because we know that the Uk and US governments are opposed to the regime in Iran and are hoping they will take a fall. I have noticed on BBc and Sky that they use the same pictures over and over again while saying they are making an up to date report, seems the way that propaganda works.

    Anyway on the broader issue both Uk and US have appaling records in dealing with Persia / Iran and I belive we can do more harm than good by keep harping on about it.We dont know the truth and should not assume we know best. Our own so-called democratic systems are nowhere near perfect so what right do we have to preach to others?

  84. 109 Tom in Massachusetts
    June 23, 2009 at 19:03

    Great show as always… On the subject of western media bias, of course media is biased in all reporting. But, in the case of this story, the news I have watched and read (ABC, Reuters, MSNBC, AP) has always made clear that Mousavi is part of the establishment and not a “reformer.” I have heard a great deal about this situation and I still have not formed an opinion about whom I would like to see elected.

    Tom

  85. 110 Yassin
    June 24, 2009 at 16:45

    Actually, it is quite difficult to decide wether to trust media or not. Many sides try to throw its wight to impact on public using different evidences. Media could also tilt at one side and be crucial in backing up or spreading an ideological propaganda. If we attempt to shed light on Iranian disputed prisedential election, we can say that up to now media westren media seems neutral. However, it has been paying attention more than usual and exagerating the situation. There were more dangerouse incedents before but westren media did not cover it as it must. Hence, this opens doors to many questions to be posed in our minds. Neverthless, it still unvalialbe to charge media of tilting at any part.

  86. 111 Yassin
    June 24, 2009 at 16:53

    Actually, it is quite difficult to decide wether to trust media or not. Many sides try to

    throw its wight to impact on public using different evidences. Media could also

    tilt at one side and be crucial in backing up or spreading an ideological

    propaganda. If we attempt to shed light on Iranian disputed prisedential election,

    we can say that up to now media westren media seems neutral. However, it has

    been paying attention more than usual and exagerating the situation. There were

    more dangerouse incedents before but westren media did not cover it as it

    must. Hence, this opens doors to many questions to be posed in our minds.

    Neverthless, it still unvalialbe to charge media of tilting at any part.


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