Obama’s YouTube DiplomacyMarch 20th, 2009 — Bruce Etling
For those that haven’t seen it yet, below is Obama’s YouTube Nowruz (New Year) message to the people and leaders of Iran. In my opinion, he seems to have gotten the tone just about right. And I found that the use of online video to speak directly to the Iranian people, but also its leaders, a great example of Internet diplomacy. In our research into both the Persian and Arabic language blogospheres, we have found that online resources such as YouTube and Wikipedia are by far the most popular online media sources. Although YouTube has been blocked on and off in Iran, I understand it is currently not blocked. We need more people there to use Herdict and tell us if this is true or not. Obama’s use of YouTube also ensures that he will get a far larger audience than the usual White House press release garners. My only concern, though, is that the media and blogosphere are so focused on Obama’s video that nobody is talking about the death of Iranian blogger Omid Reza Misayafi, which is far too important, and upsetting, of a story to be overlooked.