Satellite TV and the Iranian Green Movement: The impact of foreign-based Farsi-speaking news channels on the Iranian protests of 2009
In 2009, Iranian people came to the streets in opposition to suspected elections manipulation that led to the victory of the conservative presidential candidate Mahmoud Ahmadinejad over his reformist challenger Mir Hossein Mousavi. Throughout this wave of protests, the protesters could not rely on Iranian domestic media or the internet. Filtering, censorship and technological manipulation made mass communication very difficult. However, Iranians were left with an alternative option, namely the foreign-based Persian news channels – these had less limitations and easier accessibility. As a result, and contrary to the international view of the protest movement as a “Twitter Revolution,” this article argues that the foreign-based channels took advantage of the situation. By offering protesters a more transparent and open platform, they also achieved the strategic goal of trust building with audiences in Iran.