How the Mass Media Misread the Iranian Protests

Photo by Education International | CC BY 2.0

One of the largest social and political uprisings since the 1979 revolution in Iran has died down for now. However, due to the very lasting structures which ignited the first round of the protests, in more than 75 cites all around Iran, it does not seem to wane. One can argue that it is only the beginning of an end – the prolonged end of what we know as the Islamic Republic, either by an uprising or by an implosion. Some noted the structural causes and political-economic effects of the recent protest perfectly, among them these two are well-articulated: ‘The Moral Economy of the Iranian Protests,’ ‘Causes behind Iran’s protests: A preliminary account.’ It is now worth noting their reception in the mass media and the concerted efforts to manipulate its true origin.

What we are witnessing now is a gridlocked systemic and systematic crisis. Systemic, for the whole system, in contrast to a particular part of it, suffers from a widespread endemic corruption that functions as a kernel in which the four-decades of socio-economic and political grievances are visible. Systematic, for the structural defects and problems cannot be solved or even fixed by minor modifications that serve only to defer any real transformation. It also means the whole system, including the so-called reformists and the conservatives, are responsible for the present predicament. To name but a few symptoms of the current crisis one could mention the…

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