The Listening Post

Iran: From patriotism to protests

How the downing of a passenger aircraft flipped the narrative in Iran. Plus, the reporting of race in Portuguese media.

On The Listening Post this week: How the downing of a Ukrainian passenger aircraft flipped the narrative in Iran. Plus, the challenges of reporting race in Portuguese media.

From mourning Soleimani to protesting against the regime

When a US drone strike killed Iran’s most important military figure, General Qassem Soleimani, two weeks ago, it provided Tehran with an opening to rally the Iranian people to back their Islamic leaders against the United States.

For a few days, that seemed to be the case.

Then a passenger plane was shot down over Tehran, and Iran’s leaders chose to lie to the public, before finally admitting three days later that they had taken the plane down by mistake.

Iranians have since taken to the streets – not to mourn the loss of a fallen soldier, but because they are outraged after years of official lies, ineptitude and impunity.

That messaging opportunity is long gone. The Iranian government now has a PR nightmare on its hands.

Arash Azizi – Writer and historian, New York University
Ali Vaez – Director, Iran Project, International Crisis Group
Hosein Ghazian – Author, journalist and sociologist
Sanam Shantyaei – Senior Journalist and anchor, Middle East Matters, France 24

On our radar

Richard Gizbert speaks to producer Johanna Hoes about cracks appearing inside the Murdoch empire when it comes to reporting on Australia’s bushfires; and about the restoration of the internet in Kashmir – with caveats.

Racism in Portugal: A blind spot for the media?

A few months ago, three women of African descent – Beatriz Gomes Dias, Romualda Fernandes and Joacine Katar Moreira – made history, becoming the first black women elected to parliament in Portugal.

They have faced all kinds of racial abuse on social media.

In the mainstream media, the hostility has been more subtle but no less direct: Portuguese commentators and news columnists have contested the idea that racism even exists there.

This is a story rooted in a rose-tinted view of the country’s history – its colonial past.

The Listening Post‘s Daniel Turi reports from Portugal on a state of denial in the country’s media when it comes to race.

Jose Manuel Fernandes – Publisher, Observador
Mamadou Ba – Director, SOS Racismo
Joana Gorjao Henriques – Columnist, Publico and author, Racism in Portuguese
Joacine Katar Moreira – Member of Parliament, Livre