BBC World Affairs Editor Talks About Citizen Reporting In Iran

iran_woman_green.jpg“Citizen reporting is really the big phenomenon of our time, and I suspect that’s what it’s going to be for the future,” said BBC Word Affairs Editor John Simpson in answer to a question by Susan Macaulay of www.amazingwomenrock.com at fundraising event in London last week

Simpson followed the short form of his answer with five minutes of storytelling and anecdotes related to covering the recent protests in Iran.

The world-renowned news hound, who has reported from 36 war zones around the world during his 40-year career, said he and fellow journalists had been “chucked out” of Iran after their short-term visas ran out in the violent aftermath of the June elections.

He also said one of the BBC’s Iran-based journalists was accused of arranging the shooting of Neda Agha Soltan, the young woman who was killed in a Tehran street and, whose name has become the rallying cry for post-election protests around the world.

Simpson called the allegation “about as offensive and evil an accusation as you could imagine.”

He went on to say the BBC Persian has been enthusiastically received and is “heavily watched” by ordinary Iranians when it’s “not being jammed by the authorities.”

Simpson said he and his fellow journalists began filming with their own equipment during the protests, but ended up using their mobile phones, just like the citizen reporters all around them.

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Related links:
Transcript of the Q&A podcast
Help For Heroes
John Simpson, World Affairs Editor for the BBC
Wikipdedia on John Simpson
One Young Woman Dies In The Street In Tehran