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Soc. Sci. 2016, 5(4), 77; doi:10.3390/socsci5040077

Vahid Online: Post-2009 Iran and the Politics of Citizen Media Convergence

Program for the Study of Religion, Department of Literature, University of California, San Diego, 9500 Gilman Dr, La Jolla, CA 92093, USA
Academic Editor: Terri Towner
Received: 3 September 2016 / Revised: 14 November 2016 / Accepted: 18 November 2016 / Published: 30 November 2016
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Social Media and Political Participation)
View Full-Text   |   Download PDF [204 KB, uploaded 30 November 2016]

Abstract

An attempt is made to study the social network site, Vahid Online, pseudonym of a leading Iranian activist who has the largest social media followership online. Vahid Online is Iran’s leading distributor of information about social and political news about Iran, a source of information used by citizens and journalists. Similar to Twitter, Vahid Online posts, shares, and communicates news in short messages with hyperlinks, hashtags, or internet slang for multimedia purposes. In this networking media space, citizen journalism is assumed the civic responsibility of news and information dissemination with a perceived conception of internet as an agency of change. Vahid Online, I argue, is representative of an individuated networking activism in the new technology for information production. Technology, likewise, is imagined as a political agency and, in turn, citizenship is redefined through technology that carries the promise of change. It is also argued that Vahid Online’s conception of citizen journalism is directly born out of the Green Movement in 2009, a protest movement against the 2009 presidential elections with a self-image of networked citizenship with a relative reliance on a weak tie model of civic association. The notion of citizen journalism examined here is one of civic participatory activism in archiving the collection, reporting, and dissemination of news through the merging of diverse media technologies in an attempt to create and distribute the most impact spreading news. The paper finally offers a critical analysis and argues that Vahid Online is more about individuated network framing of a privileged politics through practice of new technology. View Full-Text
Keywords: citizen journalism; internet activism; media convergence; journalism; Iran citizen journalism; internet activism; media convergence; journalism; Iran
This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited. (CC BY 4.0).

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Rahimi, B. Vahid Online: Post-2009 Iran and the Politics of Citizen Media Convergence. Soc. Sci. 2016, 5, 77.

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