Iranian Blogs

Richard Nash writes in to alert us about an interesting new book from Soft Skull Press: We Are Iran, by Nasrin Alavi, which reviews the thousands of Iranian blogs that have cropped up since 2001 (making Farsi one of the pre-eminent languages of the blogosphere.) The book is all the more important in the face of the recent crackdown on Iranian bloggers by their government. You can also read this article from Open Democracy about the role that Iranian bloggers are playing in their country’s forthcoming election.

Journalists who are silenced in newspapers quickly find an audience for their writing in blogs or news websites.

It is precisely because so many of these affluent young people are online, that the candidates are reaching out to them on the web. So far, a dozen news websites have appeared in direct or subtle support of candidates in the pre-election period. They function as the unofficial public-relations machinery of the candidates, especially in the recent campaign wars.

The main newspapers would never dare author the kind of views that are expressed on these sites but they have no problem quoting them. In this way tough censorship rules are being circumvented and an unprecedented amount of information is available to the public.

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