Blogging in Iran
(TIME magazine's interview with me about how Iranians look at the U.S. presidential elections...)
The Internet is wildly popular in Iran, and blogging has become a vital source of information and analysis due to the systematic rollbacks of press freedoms (such as they were) during the last few years. Censorship and self-censorship takes its toll, as does intimidation and imprisonment of bloggers. But how-to-blog sites are among the most visited by Iranians, I reckon an indication that huge numbers of Iranians feel they have something to say and are doing their best to say it.
That brings me to Omid Memarian, one of Iran's most courageous bloggers. A reformist journalist, he took up blogging in 2002 and has paid a heavy price, including arrest, imprisonment and torture. Lately he's been in the U.S. as a fellow at the Graduate School of Journalism at the University of California, Berkeley, and I phoned him from Tehran last week to ask him about his blogging from there. He's been writing a lot about America and the U.S. presidential election campaign in both Farsi (http://www.memarian.info) and English. Here's a bit from our exchange...