Well, while zapping around the web we came across this review of 70 articles published in Al-Monitor on Iran around Rouhani’s election. We thought our readers might be interested in the findings as well.
Bottom line: the study found the articles to be mostly “pro-Iran,” albeit much less in July than in June, when Rouhani was elected – indicating that it took Al-Monitor a few weeks to sober up (a state that turned out to be temporary). While we can’t vouch for its scientific validity, the figures indicate that in June, 73% were found to be supportive of Iran; in July, that figure fell to 48%.
As compared with other media outlets, it appears – especially judging by tweets – that Al-Monitor is not devoid of writers who give Iran the benefit of the doubt – such as when Laura Rozen reacted with enthusiasm to news that outgoing foreign minister Ali Akbar Salehi was moving back to the Atomic Energy Organization of Iran (in response, we examined Salehi’s comments to prove he’s far from a pragmatist). Not always, of course: for example, when it published an expose on Iran’s new justice minister, dubbed a “minister of murder” by Human Rights Watch.
Based on our own monitoring, it’s our unscientific conclusion that the media on the whole is much like Al-Monitor: struggling with itself on a daily basis to beat back over-optimism to maintain objectivity. Unfortunately – again, like Al-Monitor – it doesn’t always win the battle.
Moving away from the UN General Assembly, this blog hopes Al-Monitor in particular, and the media in general, will make more of an effort at objectivity.