The United States government, unlike most other governments is very much not in the propaganda business. We believe strongly in a free press and it is that very notion of the power and importance of a free press that VOA et al have been selling to the world.
Iran is changing. The behavior of the people today would have not been tolerated 35 years ago in the immediate post-Revolutionary period. The cumulative effect of these behavioral and cultural changes is a transformation of Iranian society that will likely never be reversed.
Unlike their Arab neighbors, Iranians have recent experience with revolution. They will not risk life and limb unless they are sure that they are on the winning side. 1st Esfand was a step in the winning direction.
Imagine you've spent millions of dollars to articulate and orchestrate a message and then a 20-year-old protester shoots a 1-minute video, uploads it onto YouTube and destroys your whole story. What would you do?
It's not just Iran. Getting news out of countries in the throes of political turmoil has always been dicey. And getting the news out has often meant using the most recent technology to thwart the authorities.