Khabarnegaran.info-Niki Azad: Local journalist Mahdieh Amiri speaks of the hardships of practicing journalism in the southern Iranian province of Bushehr. Amiri has been working as a journalist in Bushehr for years. Since 2007, she has been the editor-in-chief of a few local websites, biweekly and quarterly magazines. She is now the editor-in-chief of hamooniran.com website and Ava-ye Dashtestan biweekly.
Why isn’t satire tolerated in media27 June 2012
Translated by: Rose Arjmand
Khabarnegaran.info-Why isn’t news satire tolerated in Iranian media? Lately, this question has been raised quite often, especially since the news satire has been put on tight spots. News satire relies heavily on irony and deadpan humor and a permit to joke with politicians, powerful figures and the society. Recently the Morvarid Publication published the third collection of “Satirists of Today Iran”. This book, which is gathered by Iranian researcher and satirist Roya Sadr, is a collection of 51 satire pieces form 51 young and middle-age Iranian authors and satirists. The first and the second volume of the collection were gathered by Bijan Asadi and late Omran Salahi.
Roya Sadr raised the same question at the introduction of “One, Two, Three, and Satire”. She replies her question saying: “Satire is one of the most social types of literature, which is affected by the social changes more than other sections of the world of literature. Satire has a criticizing nature. Such a characteristic makes satire stand in front of various social and political organizations for ever. That is why satire is tolerated less than other artistic and literal works.”
Researchers must study satire in the context and according to its time. Novels and poems are a sort of historical evidence for social and political revolutions. Satire is in the boat as well. It reflects the delicate angles of life. The deviation of satire from politics and power is actually a sign that it is failing to meet its criteria.
Sadr writes: “satire never could follow an independent current. Satire experienced so many upheavals during history and has always been affected by the flow of contemporary history. It has tasted failures and victories during years.”
Media is the main platform for satire. Such type of media satire does not enjoy a long lifetime but they do enjoy great influence over the current issues at the days they are published. Political satire can crush a political power show or is able to burst a power bubble.
How did the satire survive such upheavals during years? Sadr believes: “satire in media started to grow in late 1990s and declined in the decade. Satire initiated innovation in this field, tried to build a bridge between media and people, they created a new language to communicate with the society. At the beginning this trend was very successful. However, as the tolerance of the government for satire is become low, this trend declined. Since the government started closing satire magazines, the creative and innovative trend in growth of satire declined dramatically.”
She continues: “the Gol-Agha Magazine was one of the significant satire magazines in the country and it enjoyed an eminent team of professional satirists. When such media are marginalized across the country, the country did not receive many chances for new talents to enter the venue. However, multimedia like internet and mobile have served this field so well. They introduced a new wave of satire to the Iranian audience.”
“One, Two, Three, Satire” explains what satire means in the new media and what hassles threat it. The introduction of this book is basically the essence of observation of Persian satire for twenty years. The author introduces writers and satirists with a short biography and one of their works. The author played the role of a critic as well. She assesses the satirists’ works in a few lines and tells the reader what their styles are.
Sadr critiques almost all satire books and magazines published in the recent years. She did not close her eyes on online sources such as satire websites and blogs. The author managed to cover works, which were published in various newspapers like the Shargh (East), Zan (Woman), Qods, Salamat (Health). Works by Rita Asgharpour, Ebrahim Afshar, Fazel Torkaman, Amir-Mehdi Jouleh, Peyman Houshmandzadeh, Farvatish Rezvanieh, Ebrahim Raha, Shahram Shakiba, and many other writers who have been writing for media were assessed. Sadr took a look at immigrant satirists who are not able to work in domestic media.
The satirists’ photo actually was a black-and-white pen drawing cartoon of theirs. The book is published in 416 pages and is both entertaining and educating. It depicts a full picture of Persian satire especially in Iranian media. The book is a valuable collection of satire works which saved the media and online satire from extinction.
The main characters of Azardokht Bahrami’s “Chaharshanbeh Nights” (Wednesday Nights) satire story are journalists and most of the stories take place in a newsroom. The story of “Active Members Wanted” by Ali MirFattah plays with the subject of newspapers being abused as a tool to boost a political party.
On the back cover of the book, it is written: “indeed, during the history of humanities, satire was not mainly let in the game because of its side effects. Sometime it even was thrown out of a game. However, satire plays with anything and everything and shares the joy with others.
Don’t miss “One, Two, Three, Satire” to enjoy a share of that joy. “One, Two, Three, Satire”, gathered by Roya Sadr, Morvarid Publlication, 416 pages, the first circulation, 2012, $9.5
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