Wednesday 16 March 2011

How the BBC challenges censorship in Iran and China

There was an interesting article in The Guardian a few days ago documenting how the BBC is combating censorship in Iran and China using social media (and some good old-fashioned journalism).

At a South by Southwest festival panel, Sanam Dolatshahi, producer and presenter with BBC Persian TV, described an information struggle with the Iranian regime: "they would jam our footage and show their own version of events – using the same UGC, but to tell a different story, a different version of events. They would also try to make us broadcast wrong stuff so that we would lose our credibility."

She suggested that even more emphasis was subsequently placed on "verification and cross-checking of our sources."

Meanwhile, the head of BBC China, Raymond Li, said he uses microblogging websites to publish material. He finds that regulation is less prohibitive on these sites and he can outwit state censors. But he said it required no little skill and plenty of care.

Iran has a history of jamming BBC Persian TV satellites, while China blocks the BBC website every now and then. Like in 1998 or in 2010


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