Iran: Interview with Omid Memarian, Blogger and Human Rights Activist
Here is my interview with Mr. Hamid Tehrani in the Global Voices Website.
"HT: In your opinion is the content of political blogs written in Iran
different from political blogs written by Iranians outside the
OM: In Iran we can see how blogging has become a way around limitations, restrictions and lack of freedom of speech. In the United States, for example, we are not facing this issue. In Iran, political bloggers are at risk of prosecution, torture and jail. But in the United States, bloggers don’t feel that by writing about the politics they can change their lives in a terrible way. Blogging in Iran is not recognized as a serious medium by organizations and newspapers. But in this country there are many bloggers who professionally do blogging as a project. They are paid and they are committed to meet a set of standards. And some famous bloggers are also journalists. In Iran the restrictions in the political atmosphere mean bloggers, like
journalists, suffer from self censorship and also many consideration and fear of being prosecuted. Although many of them bravely talk under these circumstances their writing style is sometimes like poetry.
Readers should know how to interpret it. When I first started studying journalism at UC Berkeley journalism school it was very hard for me to change my style to be clear, direct, summarized and to the point. Now it has gotten better because of all the classes I took and mostly because I am really passionately keen to write in English and journalism school was the best field to develop my skills in writing.
Compared with the American blogs, many of the Iranian political blogs deal with domestic issues but not global events. The main concerns of the blogs are topics about the internal politics. However it reflects another characteristic of many political journalists who use the local factors in the analysis and comments."