Saturday, September 16, 2006

Khatami's visit gets blogged

The print version of the Boston Globe and online websites like the Center for Citizen media and The Daily Item discussed the arrival of former Iranian prime minister Mohammed Khatami to Harvard Universities Kennedy School of Government. The Globe recieved criticisms from Fox News commentator Bill O’Reilly for their editorial on the former prime minister. News Hounds said that O’Reilly “admitted he didn't understand what the Boston Globe was communicating but he just knows that Khatami is a "bad guy."

Globe staff writers, Scott Helman and Farah Stockman quoted governer Mitt Romney in a September 6 article entitled; “Romney bars state security for Iranian's Harvard visit- Cites unacceptable use of funds on `a terrorist'.” Helman and Stockman interviewed Romney, who did not support the arrival of the political figurehead. He did not want a terrorist to come and speak on 9/11, a day commemorating the people who lost their lives in the face of terrorism. He was quoted by the Globe saying, “There are some people who we can all imagine who by virtue of their acts would not be welcome at a campus, and this is one of them."

John Gibson from Fox News interviewed Romney in, “Gov. Romney on Harvard Inviting Former Iran President to Speak on Sept. 10.” Romney said:

I think it's a disgrace to have an individual who has been a supporter of Hezbollah, who has advocated the destruction of Israel, who has jailed dissidents and who developed nuclear technology, to have a person of that nature come to Harvard… I have insisted that our state agencies do not provide the support which we would normally provide for a visiting dignitary.

The online coverage of the opinions following Romney’s opposition to Khatami’s visit is more varied than it was with the print publications. Personal blogs are more openly opinion based, while professional ones like Fox and the Globe include interviews with the subjects themselves. Whether you agree with either publication, I think people will trust print news sources more than opinion blogs that rely mainly on secondary sources for information.

Some differences I observed between the coverage of this story and follow up reactions is that unlike print editorials, online website articles can be followed with unlimited posted comments from the public.

Anyone is free to read a blogger’s opinions and reactions as well as reader's comments. Even if I don’t agree with certain opinions, at least online I can leave my own; if I choose to do so.

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