An Iranian protester, with the help of blogger/new media journalist Nico Pitney, literally gets to ask a question at a presidential press conference.
Apparently, this was coordinated in advance, with the cooperation of Huffingtonpost writer Nico Pitney and President Obama.
At today's press conference, President Obama called on Nico Pitney who has been blogging and collecting twitter, facebook and other social networking sources about what is happening in Iran.
Obama asked Pitney if he had a question, or rather, he asked if he had a question from Iran.
"Nico, I know that you, and all across the internet, we've been seeing a lot of reports coming directly out of Iran. I know there may actually be questions from people IN Iran who are communicating through the internet. Do you have a question?"- Advertisement -
Pitney replied that he had a question that had been posed by an Iranian protester:
I wanted to use this opportunity to ask a question directly from an Iranian. We solicited questions last night from people who were still courageous enough to to be communicating online. And one of them wanted to ask you this:
"Under what conditions would you accept the election of Ahmadinejead, and if you do accept it without any significant change in the conditions there, isn't that a betrayal of the demonstrators there are working to (final word not decipherable with noise of cameras blocking it.)"
The questioner basically asked Obama what it would take for him to accept and recognize the election of Ahmadinejead.
Pitney did not say whether the question was twittered or what.
There are several significant aspects of this occurrence. While not the first, time, Obama's taking questions from an internet only media site is significant. But the fact that Pitney used his opportunity to bring someone he was in communication with through the web, in another nation, is another major step towards making journalism more bottom up, more, more participatory.
Just imagine, a few years ago, telling any Iranian, anyone in that part of the world that he or she might get to ask the most powerful man in the world a question. Pitney's question broke new ground, stretching the envelope of what presidential journalistic coverage and international reporting are all about.