10 Pages

Introduction to Network Journalism

Neda Agha-Soltan died violently during the Iran election protests in June 2009. The amateur video footage of her bleeding to death in the streets of Tehran was broadcast across all major news outlets. Recorded with a mobile phone by a man who remains anonymous, the video made its way onto the web after another anonymous source emailed it to contacts outside of the country attached to the message ‘please let the world know’.2 The world did learn about Neda-and along with it about the opposition movement in Iran. An anonymous native from Iran currently living in the Netherlands was one of the receivers of this email and he was reportedly the fi rst person to share the video online. From there, the images of the dying Neda were linked and referenced via an uncountable number of blogs and on Twitter, passed on and exchanged through social network sites and packaged in newsrooms worldwide. Neda’s face became an icon of the reformist opposition in Iran, her violent death the symbol for repression of free speech. It was the fi rst time that news footage authored by a person remaining anonymous received the George Polk Award in Journalism.