Journal of Mass Communication & Journalism

ISSN: 2165-7912

Open Access

Social Media and Citizen Journalism in the 2009 Iranian Protests: The Case of Neda Agha-Soltan


Kathleen German

Traditional scholarship on social movements and journalism could not envision the dramatic changes that emerging social media have brought to social uprisings. Social media technology have served to challenge cultures of control, simultaneously eroding barriers between public and private lives and promoting civic engagement of individuals in their societies. This chapter explores the implications of emerging social media employed by citizens during the disputed 2009 Iranian elections. It focuses on the use of social media including cell phones, Facebook, MySpace, Twitter, blogs, and YouTube to spread information about the death of Neda Agha-Soltan and, as a result, coalesce anti-government protestors. Starting from the case of Neda Agha-Soltan, this chapter investigates how social media have changed the role of protestors functioning as citizen journalists in social movements.


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