Shut out by the near totalitarian powers of the Islamic republic, the mainstream media tracked the stream of consciousness produced by new media. Some of the material is powerful, even indelible.
Particularly haunting is the 40-second YouTube video that shows a young woman, wearing jeans but otherwise dressed conservatively, suddenly falling to the sidewalk, shot in the heart. Her eyes turn to what must be a cell-phone camera, wide and shocked and dying as we stare at her. Men rush to her side and try to stanch the wound, but blood trickles from her mouth as an older man — later described as her father — cries and cries. Hours after the video surfaced, people on Twitter said she had not been part of the demonstration at all. Just a bystander.
By the end of the day, the Tweets had given her a name: Neda, which means “the voice” or “the call” in Farsi.
But who shot her? A soldier? A member of the notorious Basij, the volunteer militia that supports President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad? Were they aiming at her? Could this have been an accident or a random act of violence?
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