This paper charts the progression of both the 2009 “Green” Iranian election crisis and Occupy movements and examines the media coverage in both, and how the U.S. media coverage of the earlier 2009 election crisis impacts the Iranian coverage of Occupy. The lack of U.S. coverage in 2009 meant many went to sites such as Al Jazeera. Iran cites the lack of western coverage on the downfall of Wall Street movement as a reason for why their state media has rallied to cover it. More, both of these are examples of “social media” revolutions or movements which have heavily relied on digitalmedia. Broadly, I hope to explore how new, digital, social media influence social movements by comparing a “failed” “Green” or “Twitter” revolution and the ongoing Occupy movement. In comparing the two movements I hope to shed light on the potentials of digital media and examine the question of digital media’s inherent Faustian contract.
- Why do Iranian state controlled media cover Occupy Wall St so extensively? Is Iran’s interest in portraying the Occupy protests as simple as portraying political unrest in the U.S.?
- What happens when social movements which utilize new media are used by the state to further their political goals – especially when that state exercises control over almost all media.
- In light of the 2009 election protests, how does Occupy Wall St impact Iran? How has the media coverage of these two movements & the larger geopolitical issues framed the discourse concerning them?
- Can a movement like OWS be a global model? Does it require relatively uncensored access to social media?
I will be comparing mass media coverage of the 2009 election in U.S. media, mass media coverage of Occupy Wall St. in Iran, Ayatollah Khamenei’s much covered remarks in the Tehran Times in October, the launch by the Basij (the government force responsible for the crackdown on protestors in 2009) launched a website called Wall Street Fall (in Persian and English), a recent Tehran University Conference On Occupy Wall Street, and The International Cartoon Festival of Wall Street Downfall.
For the 2009 election protests I will utilize the existing literature and media objects. I will be relying on Sreberny’s work for much of the scholarship on Iran. The frame analysis articles from Benford and Snow will serve as tools, occupyresearch.net, and content analysis of a compilation of different media objects from both movements. I will focus on the cases listed above and the emergence of Occupy coverage in November and gradual fading of coverage in December. In addition, I will use work by Clay Shirky and Evengy Morozov to provide a scholarly foundation to explore the concept of a faustian contract in new forms of social media.
March 14th – Project Proposal
March 15th – Revise as per in-class feedback.
March 21st – review existing literature on Iranian 2009 election, gather primary articles & sources
March 28th – Code, compile, and sort primary media objects.
April 4th – Detailed/working outline/rough-rough draft.
April 11th – First draft, complete sorting data and put it into a visual form.
May 16th – Final Draft