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.
Shargh Newspaper closed for 4th time
journalists lose their jobs again28 September 2012
Translated by Rose Arjmand
Khabarnegaran.info-Shargh Newspaper has been closed down on 27 September 2012 on the eve of an autumn day for publishing a cartoon. The cartoon was interpreted as an insulting cartoon and such an interpretation ended in the newspaper being closed down and more than 100 journalists and freelancer lose their jobs. The managing editor of the newspaper was arrested and the cartoonist was summon to Media and Culture Court.
Shargh is accused of publishing a cartoon which was considered insulting to war veterans of Iran-Iraq war. The media monitoring council formed an urgent meeting which was not scheduled. The council voted to closed down the newspaper immediately.
Mehdi Rahmanian, Shargh Newspaper and licence holder, was summoned to Tehran public court and was arrested at the same day. Hadi Heidari the cartoonist working for the newspaper was summoned to he Media and Culture Court.
Journalists lose their jobs again
Many of the staff at Shargh newsroom had experienced unemployment before. They were there a number of times when he newspaper was closed down time after time. They started their job after one and a half years. Many of the journalists working for this daily paper were imprisoned after the controversial presidential election in 2009. Shargh has the highest number of journalists who experienced prison and Solitary confinement at Evin prison or IRGC prison.
We tolerated them and stayed, but weren’t tolerated One of the journalists of Shargh Newspaper told Khabarnegaran.info: "I have bent there a number of times when they closed down our newsroom. But this time it was more difficult for me to digest it. This time we tolerated self-censorship for more than one and a half years to stay in the business and work. However, they can never tolerate us."
Since June 2009 up to now, more than 20 newspapers and weekly magazines were closed down under official warrants. However, the real number would be more if we add the number of newspapers and magazines that were closed down due to financial crisis. on top of that we must include the small media that were not known enough to make it to the headlines after they were closed down.
Unemployment of journalists is a sad story never ends. Journalists suffer severely after each newspaper is closed down. They experience unemployment and financial problems. They do not even have an association to ask for their support.
Khabarnegaran.info-Niki Azad: How is life for Iranian journalists after prison? Does their attitude toward their journalism – the profession that put them in jail – change? Are they more conservative than before? Or bolder?
Khabarnegaran – Niki Azad: He has been put in jail three times for his journalist writing, though he says that jail has not made him feel disappointed with the profession of journalism.