Twitter came of age during the reformist uprising in Iran, said Dan Amira in New York magazine. As the cable news networks looked the other way, "dozens of ordinary Iranians provided firsthand, real-time updates," keeping the world informed about the protest marches, beatings by security forces, and "anything else they could see from their window or close up on the streets."
"Lord knows the cable news channels are doing a crappy job," said Jason Zengerle in The New Republic. But, as one friend put it, the avalanche of "crazed twitters" is only making it harder to figure out what's really going on. This would a nice time for President Obama to explain the situation, "conflicting information and all," or for old-fashioned reporters to hit the streets in Tehran and contribute their take on what's happening.
Of course the online footage from Iran is "raw, unedited," and incomplete, said The Washington Times in an editorial. But what these videos—shot by ordinary citizens, and funneled to the world with the help of hackers capable of sidestepping government censors—provide a clear enough picture of what's going on. "It is a revolution in cinema vérité courtesy of YouTube," and there's no denying now that Iranians "yearn to be free."