University of Hertfordshire

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Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)61-74
Number of pages14
JournalJournal of Media Practice
Volume13
Issue1
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 12 Jun 2012

Abstract

The Iranian elections of June 2009 and the ensuing protests were hailed as the 'Twitter revolution' in the media in the United Kingdom. However, this study of the use of sources by journalists covering the events shows that despite their rhetoric of the importance of social media in alerting the global community to events in Iran, journalists themselves did not turn to that social media for their own information, but relied most on traditional sourcing practices: political statements, expert opinion and a handful of 'man on the street' quotes for colour.

This study shows that although the mythology of the Internet as a place where all voices are equal, and have equal access to the public discourse continues – a kind of idealized 'public sphere' – the sourcing practices of journalists and the traditions of coverage continue to ensure that traditional voices and sources are heard above the crowd.

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