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Internet Newspapers Blossom in Iran


Hamid Tehrani has an excellent post on the emergence of underground, online newspapers that have sprung up since the disputed Iranian election. He argues that these newspaper allow Iranians to communicate in the face of increased repression. Hamid writes:

Dozens of journalists and bloggers have been imprisoned, pro-reformist websites have been filtered and a few not-yet-banned reformist journals such as Etemad Meli are under intensified surveillance. Under such difficult circumstances for the media, we are witnessing a new phenomenon inside Iran: the emergence of “underground” Internet newspapers.

At the end of June, at least two such newspapers were launched: Khyaboon (”Street”) and Kalam Sabz (”Green Word”) where the word “green” is a reference to Mir Hussein Mousavi’s campaign colors. So far, Khyaboon has published 13 issues and Kalam Sabz has published 10. Khyaboon is available only by email and the paper has no website or blog. Kalam Sabz also uses email, but has a website. Both journals are distributed in PDF file format.

Both Khyaboon and Kalam Sabz are firmly against Ahmadinejad and Khamenei’s decision to accept the election results, as well as suppression of the protest movement. This is demonstrated in recent headlines from the two papers:

“What is going on in the silence of Evin prison;”
“Stop forcing confessions;”
“Khatami: It was a velvet Coup against people.”

Hamid’s analysis of political trends in the two papers shows that Kalam Sabz “largely reflects the opinions and statements of reformist leaders and parties” while Khayaboon is more of a “radical-left journal, which criticizes even Mousavi for his inaction.”

Check out the full story on Global Voices; it’s well worth the read.

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