Posted to Ben Finklea's blog on June 17th, 2009

Social Networks Play Critical Role in Iran

In the midst of the extreme political controversy of Iran’s presidential elections, the Iranian authorities have shut down web sites and newspapers in what some feel is an extended effort to keep foreign media out of the country’s political chaos. It is now being reported by journalism sources in the U.S. that social networking sites such as Twitter and Facebook have been providing the United States with critical information concerning the political rallies that have stemmed from a possible election fix.

Technology has been able to play a key role in this crisis, or revolution, as the journalists have rightfully deemed it. It is being televised, Youtubed, blogged, texted and Tweeted, as Iran’s social explosion over it’s election has revolutionized how professional journalism can cover major news events. As long as the source is reported appropriately, the story has always been advanced on to world.

This has opened a heat debate between traditional journalism versus new media. The old debate was always either/or and never together. This past weekend has shown how new media can be used successfully as a tool by traditional journalism to adapt to the growing need for instant real-world news versus what makes the Sunday paper. It is the dawn of a new era of communication tools that help pure journalism carry on the torch of truth. There is no threat to traditional journalism, as long as new tools are used to fine tune the age old industry that has withstood the test of technology numerous times in the past.

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