Weblog: What’s happening in Iran? (No news is bad news)

Help me trawl the net to find out how things are developing in Iran. As commenter Tim has just written on an earlier post, the issue has fallen out of the news now that the protests have reduced. What’s going on?

UPDATE July 5th:

Ok, well you lot have been useless. But so too have some of the media so I’ll forgive you. In the UK, the Iranian elections have fallen into the ‘Brits in the Shit‘ category of news. In the US, coverage also slowed. Senator John McCain has called for stronger support of Iran’s protesters from the U.S. government’.

Declared the winner

Declared the winner

The Lede, the news blog of the NYTimes has been running updates every day – aggregating content from their own stories and elsewhere. The last of these was on July 2nd. Their interactive timeline of events ends on June 29, after the Guardian Council of Iran certified the election results.

Brits in the Proverbial

It appears the coverage has turned to the diplomatic consequences of the election and indeed coverage of it. BBC coverage is speculated to have led to Ayatollah Ali Khamenei accusing Britain of meddling. BBC coverage remains by far the best coverage of the issue, and I would direct you here.

British embassy workers were arrested. The EU looked like stepping in. Eight out of nine have been returned. One appears to still face trial. This is important, no doubt. I’d like to hear more about other people arrested in Iran too.

In Iran

Newspaper Kayan, which according to Al Jazeera is ‘closely linked to the government’, reports that 100 Iranian MPs have called for opposition leaders to face trial.

Yet resistance continues

Yet resistance continues

Despite the Guardian Council’s pronouncement to the contrary, a pro-reform group of clerics refuse to accept the legitimacy of the election.

And Mir Hossein Mousavi has called the government ‘illegitimate’ and detailed alleged election fraud, which according to Channel 4 News is ‘a brave move given that Iran’s Basij militia today called for an investigation of Mousavi, accusing him of “disturbing national security”, which is punishable by 10 years in jail.’

Blogs and further questions

In the UK blogosphere, commentary has been insular – focusing more on Press TV, a station funded by the Iranian government – rather than continuing the coverage of the elections and their aftermath. Having read Dominic Lawson’s column on the station, I can see why it is an issue. The Iranian elections and their aftermath have, however, seemingly vanished from the most popular blogs – even the foreign policy ones. Gideon Rachman wrote an interesting piece on why ‘bashing Britain is fun and easy’. FP Passport hasn’t covered the issue for a while.

Overall coverage is disappointing, the Iranian elections were proving the might of the internet but the death of Michael Jackson appears to have shown its greater capacity for facile distractions.

I’ll end this with a question: Should the media merely cover the news according to how much it is sought after, or indeed how active a situation is; or conversely should the media seek to set a news agenda by focusing on an issue people should be more concerned about? So should there be less coverage of the King of Pop, more coverage on the political developments in Iran? Roger Cohen discussed this before I even asked it.

The nuclear issue

Whilst the elections and their aftermath have been downplayed, the threat of nuclear war has garnered some coverage.

The incoming IAEA head believes that there is ‘no sign Iran seeks nuclear arms‘. His predecessor disagreed.

Today’s Times has a story that Israel are considering a military strike on Iranian nuclear sites and that Saudi Arabia has agreed.

PS. As ever, if you see something, post it in the comments.

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