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RTNoftheMackell29 karma

I was in Tehran for ten days at the start of that (I wanted to stay longer but my visa wasn't getting renewed, no one's was).

This was in mid 2009, so a year and a half before the Arab Spring. But yes very similar, huge amazing protests, but also huge counter protests.

I am less convinced now than I was at the time that the elections were stolen, and I've written elsewhere that in retrospect I went along a bit with the rest of the press pack on that one. The opposition to Ahmedinejad was big, and passionate, but so was his support base.

RTNoftheMackell24 karma

Hi Cahaseler,

Thanks for your question. Firstly the independent mainstream divide isn't always so clear cut. We've both worked with major league publications. And honestly to us the big difference is between those who are doing the legwork and those who are faking it, and you find both types inside and outside major organisations.

I would say the big problem I perceive with a lot of big media companies is an overemphasis on seniority of staff over proximity to the story. For example, younger Cairo correspondents for major outlets would be pushed aside by brand name boomer reporters who would show up just for big events like elections or whatever. Hope that's helpful!

RTNoftheMackell19 karma

The US backed the coup in Egypt, crushing democracy and supporting the dictator, Sisi, who has overseen the most violent period in Egypt's modern history. Libya, Syria and Bahrain all saw legitimate popular uprisings, and if you want to know what went on there you can, it just takes a lot of work to sort the quality work from the bad, something we are trying to make faster with www.writeinstone.com.

RTNoftheMackell14 karma

A google search result may give you a more accurate ranking, and there would be different ways to count. Probably Yemen right now, like literally this week. Not sure. It ranges from appalling to pretty bad basically everywhere except tunisia and lebanon where it's kinda ok.

RTNoftheMackell13 karma

Yes I think the danger posed by the Muslim Brotherhood was massively overstated. They were no angels, but their basic plan for egypt involved regular free and fair elections. A secular president might have done better, as was the case in Tunisa. It was easier for the military to mobilise allies in washington against an islamist government, however moderate.