My new blog on online journalism

After 6 years of running personal/political blogs in Persian and English, now I’m starting a new “serious” blog on online journalism for my Journalists’ Toolkit class at UF College of Journalism. It’s been a while I wanted to discuss what I learn at journalism school and my observations about the ways online journalism is practiced around the globe, but I was afraid I would lose my readers who are used to my diary-style writing. I’m happy that our assignment for this class to maintain a professional blog is giving me a chance to experience a new way of writing and share my knowledge or questions about the field with others. After all, I’ve been involved with online journalism for 5 years now, since I started the first online magazine in Iran called Cappuccino with a group of bloggers and amateur journalists.

I have witnessed how blogging and online media have given a new voice to Iranian women, social activists, and political dissidents in an environment that censorship increases on a daily basis. I have also been witness to how the Internet has revived the women’s movement in Iran and helped Iranian women’s rights activists to network, mobilize resources, recruit, and organize numerous campaigns to resist gender-discriminatory practices in Iran. Along with discussing what I learn in Journalists’ Toolkit class, I will also try to highlight some of the ways Iranian civil society is using online media to further their social activism, since my main research at grad school is focused on this issue.

At the main page of the course syllabus of Journalists’ Toolkit class we read:

This course prepares the student to work as a journalist in today’s newsrooms where the online and digital platforms are at least as important as the traditional print or broadcast platforms.

I hope I can improve my skills in Journalists’ Toolkit class to use online and digital platforms such as audio, video, slide shows, and blogging to tell the story of social activists around the world.

My English is not very good, at least not good enough to be a print journalist in English, but I’m glad that various online and digital platforms give journalists the opportunity to tell their stories beyond the boundaries of written words. I’m looking forward to improve my skills and learn new ways in Journalists’ Toolkit class to show, rather than tell, my stories.

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2 comments so far

  1. philicher on

    Sanam … You mentioned highlighting “ways Iranian civil society is using online media to further their social activism.” I’d like to hear more about how you’ve seen online media work against censorship in a community. I’ve used anonymous comments in my community blog for that purpose. But negative comments have become a problem. I’m probably going to have to not allow anonymous comments soon. I’d love to hear more about how what you’ve experienced.

  2. Sanam on

    Censorship, and specifically media censorship, has been one of the main reasons Iranian activists have used the Internet. After more than 100 papers and magazines were band in Iran a few years ago, many journalists started writing in blogs, women’s activists started to have feminist websites, and reformists started having news websites. However, they faced a new form of censorship and that was filtering of the Internet. I’ll try to write about these things more in the future. I might focus on women’s activists for a while though, because my research is on the use of Internet by Iran’s women’s movement, and I’m quite busy with that!

    As for anonymity, that’s a very interesting and important topic that needs more attention. I’ll try to write about that too. For a long time I was using a pseudonyms myself. I am pro using pseudonyms when people’s lives are in danger. But I’m also pro having an online identity. That is, while I was writing under the name Lady Sun (Khorshid Khanoom), I had an online identity that people/my readers were familiar with. If I would post comments under that name, I would put the URL of my weblog as well, so people could check my blog, read about me, and get an idea who I am. I’ll try to write about all that more soon. Meanwhile, I’d be happy to answer your specific questions.


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