Will Politics be Tweeted? New Media Use by Iranian Youth in 2011
International and Area Studies
A survey of 2,800 Iranian youths regarding their consumption of media and social media indicates that the Internet and state-run television are their primary source for news and information, followed by traditional media and personal connections. Twitter, long thought to be the catalyst of the post-election discontent in 2009, did not show up on the radar of news and information sources. The survey was conducted in 2011 by the Annenberg School for Communication’s Center for Global Communication Studies (CGCS) and is reported in the journal New Media & Society. The article “Will politics be tweeted? New media use by Iranian youth in 2011” by Magdalena Wojcieszak, Ph.D. (Gr ’09), IE University in Spain; and Briar Smith, associate director of CGCS, reported on efforts to determine what sources younger Iranians use for information, the extent to which they rely on new media (such as social media) for political exchanges, their experiences with online censorship, and political efficacy as related to new media. The uprisings in Iran following the 2009 contested elections and debate over new media’s potential to affect dissent was, in part, a backdrop to the research. The survey was conducted at a time when the “Arab Spring” was taking place, raising the question of whether new media can empower popular protests.