I had an interesting lunch meeting yesterday with German Bundestag Member Steffen Kampeter who chairs the Bundestag’s CDU/CSU Parliamentary Budget Committee — and among the many topics we discussed was the impact of blogs and blogging on American politics. Our discussion included the still nascent emergence of German blogs and bloggers.
But as I have been writing a lot about Iran, Saudi Arabia, and plan to do more on Cuba shortly — the issue of online expression in politically repressed environments interests me. Blogging ‘seems’ to have a different vitality in an Iran or Afghanistan than it does in Japan, Canada or the US — but could be wrong on this.
I ran across an interesting blog this morning written by an Iranian living in Toronto. It’s called Editor: MYSELF.
The publisher, Hossein Derakhshan, had a strong piece, “Democracy’s Double Standard in Iran,” in the International Herald Tribune/New York Times last year and seems bent on demystifying Iran’s politics and leaders. He’s clearly a fan of Iran’s former president Khatami — but looks at Ahmadinejad as an inconsequential buffoon (my words, not his — but I think I characterize his views about right).
But also on his site is a link to a roster of lots of other Iranian bloggers — both inside and outside Iran. I don’t have the time to run through more than a few. But it’s interesting to browse through them if you have the time.
Here is an interesting Wikipedia entry on Iran’s growing but government stifled blog sector and also a good entry on “Internet censorship in Iran.”
— Steve Clemons
Update: Some other bloggers are sending links to other Iran-related blogs. Here is one called Iran Information Agency.