Occupy & Iran Media Visualisation: Flowers and Smart Looking Hats

To your left is my attempt at a visualization of the structure of American and Iranian coverage on the Occupy movement. The stick figures to the right in a circle are the Occupy Wall Street movement, so encircled to represent their ideally leaderless and all inclusive movement.  If this had been a more proper visualization there would have been many more, distinct, groups representing the different camps and the larger network connecting them. The smart looking hats represent professionalization, whereas the flowers represent more grassroots organization. Clouds are representative of more ephemeral networks such as Occupy. Triangles represent a more traditional top-down hierarchical structure.

From the actual Occupy movement the visualization swerves off to examine the three areas of coverage I was examining. A. USA Media — which I characterized by the infamous “basically a vegetable product” and the way in which Occupy protestors have been framed as the dredges of society who desperately need both a shower and a job. The mass media networks are businesses owned by larger corporations, as in the case of the News Corporation owning Fox/Dow Jones and founded by fan favorite Rupert Murdoch. The views disseminated from these networks then impact their viewers who then view Occupy under those same frames.

In Iran mass media is state owned and operated. Those in charge of the Islamic Republic of Iran Broadcasting are appointed by the Supreme Leader and the government. This is written into the constitution. Those who are exposed to that media can then take advantage of ‘small’ media, and engage in local discussions regarding dissidence with regime approval. In the light of the post 2009 election protests crackdown overt organizing is too dangerous. Professors and students at Tehran University can leverage the current approval of Occupy to discuss dissidence.

The drawing should probably have one more arrow, as in turn these conversations are then covered in the U.S. media framed by the American government’s relationship with the Iranian government.


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