When thousands took to the World Wide Web from Tehran to protest the result of the presidential elections the summer of 2009, traditional western media's first instinct was to turn a blind eye. It wasn't until days later when massive networks of activists and students were operating strictly through Twitter that outlets like CNN finally figured out covering this phenomenon was probably worth their while. Unfortunately after everything was said and done, many of my fellow journalists in newsrooms across the world concluded the Tehran Twitter protests were an isolated occurrence --- until now. After weeks of unrest in Tunisia seen only through videos uploaded on Facebook, it seems as our psychological apprehension to rely on social networks as a news source will finally come to an end.
Entries in Mohamed Ghannouchi (14)
1940 GMT: Tunisian Minister of Interior Ahmed Friaa says 78 people died and 94 were injured in the violence surrounding the downfall of President Ben Ali.
At the time of the clashes, the Government would only admit to between 20 and 30 dead.
1850 GMT: This captioned photograph is making the rounds by e-mail. Former President Ben Ali of Tunisia on left: "Don't be late, it gets lonely." President Hosni Mubarak on right: "You're first, we're next." (h/t Sultan Al Qassemi)
There is a much larger battle going on, away from the clashes on the streets. On Sunday, Prime Minister Mohamed Ghannouchi declared, "Tomorrow we will announce the new government which will open a new page in the history of Tunisia."
The practical steps behind that flourish are that a coalition has been agreed, with former opposition factions such as the Democratic Progressive Party and the Democratic Forum for Labour and Freedoms each getting one post. "Technocrats" are likely to retain their posts, and there will be representatives from trade unions and lawyers' groups.
Is that enough for legitimacy? Two immediate issues emerge.
2215 GMT: Video has been posted claiming to be of a night-time protest in Hammamet in northeastern Tunisia, with a teenager killed by the police.
And this picture claims to be of riot police in Cite Ettadhamen near the capital.
2150 GMT: Reuters reports that hundreds of youths defied the 8 p.m. curfew in Tunis, setting fire to a bank and throwing stones at police, who responded with tear gas.