A road to Damascus moment for me with Twitter this morning. Obsessed with watching the protests and post-stolen-election ripples in Iran, I found my way to #IranElection, and realized how much more information, direct from people on the ground, was there.
It’s ongoing now, if slowing down. It’s modern, unfiltered news, which means rumors and speculation. But it is a way to be in the stream of events that CNN or a newspaper can never be (though the YouTube BBC video, filmed like a hidden camera because the authorities apparently arrested the reporters and took their earlier tapes, gives some sense for this.)
Despite what some Twitterers are proclaiming, this is not a substitute for mainstream media, even if some outlets are doing a terrible job. Apparently CNN in the US dropped the ball on this story badly, though overseas seems good, and I’m still reading the NYT, BBC and the Guardian. However, this real-time info scratches any itch that cable news ever did. Fast information, and the sense for what it’s like on the ground, to *live* an event instead of read about it, is coming from Twitter, Flickr, and YouTube today.
Here’s a list of twitterers worth following, when the #IranELection flow gets to be too much: http://tr.im/or5k.
This Flickr set is unmissable, though the photos on blogs and other sets are outstanding too.