4 خرداد 1392

Weekly Content Analysis of Iranian Newspapers

Hashemi, Mashayi: Two Most Talked About Candidates

25 May 2013

Reported by Sara Mohseni

Translated by Mehrdad Safa

Khabarnegaran.info –Iran’s newspapers were generally more concerned with the upcoming presidential election this week (10-15 May), highlighting the two prominent presidential candidates, former President Akbar Hashemi Rafsanjani and incumbent-party nominee Esfandiar Rahim Mashayi.

Every week,Khabarnegaran.info, publishes a report of the content analysis of three major Iran’s newspapers to assess a number of factors, including media attention to the election, adherence to ethics of journalism, and the candidates in the spotlight.

The three newspapers subject to this week’s analytical study (10-15 May) were reformist Shargh, conservative Resalat and pro-government Iran newspapers.

Frequency of election-related content: Compared with the last week, the aggregate number of the content related to the upcoming presidential election has increased from 237 to 368. Shargh daily focused on the election more than the other two dailies, ranking first with 142 articles. Resalat and Iran stand next with 117 and 109 articles respectively. This is for the third week that a reformist newspaper ranks first.

Frequency of references to candidates: It was shown that presidential candidate Akbar Hashemi Rafsanjani, supported by reformists and centrists, was the most highlighted candidate, with 62 references more than other candidates. The next notable candidate is pro-government Esfandiar Rahim Mashayi.

Stance towards Mashayi: 19 percent of the articles on Mashayi were reportages, while 37 percent were in favor of him, mostly published in pro-government Iran daily. The other 44 percent opposed him, mostly published in Shargh and Resalat.

Stance towards Hashemi- Rafsanjani: 24 percent of articles on Hashemi- Rafsanjani were reportage, with an additional 2 percent which accounted for analytical content. While 29 percent of articles were against him, 45 percent favored him, mostly published in Shargh daily.

Results and Findings

A. Shargh newspaper

- Main headlines about the upcoming presidential election are: • I have one vote

• People vote for most useful one

• Stuck in Guardian Council: between God and world

• Latest on Rafsanjani on registration day

• Jalili candidacy confuses principalists

• Hadad-Adel describes election atmosphere

• Mashayi: President’s nominee; not government’s

• Election will affect nuclear negotiations

• That phone call

An analysis of Shargh headlines showed that they were mostly concerned with Rafsanjani’s participation in the upcoming elections. An interview withHashemi- Rafsanjani’s daughter Fatemeh under the large banner ‘That phone call’ was an article that repeatedly republished in news websites.

Newsmakers: Political figures and parties were the most notable newsmakers this week. Shargh quoted 29 articles from these newsmakers, while 54 articles was published without any quote, encompassing op-eds, satires and short news.

Candidates: Most election-related content published in Shargh were concerned with Akbar Hashemi Rafsnajani, totaling 30 articles. The next important candidate was Mashayi.

Source Citation: Most content related to the election (64%) was quoted from news agencies and websites. While 36 percent of the content were prepared and published exclusively by Shargh newspaper itself, no unsourced articles was found, which indicates Shargh’s adherence to ethics of journalism.

Partiality: Most election-related content were reportage.

Types of content: Most content related to the election was published in the form of news stories.

B. Resalat newspaper

Main headlines related to the election are:

• A warning to principalists

• Zakani: Rafsanjani incapable to win

• A greater sedition by Rafsanjani’s presence

• Great number of candidates makes political epic happen

• Jalili: presidency is not a place for slogans and vows

• Ahmadinejad’s lack of competence is evident for Parliament

• People’s participation and religious democracy

A content analysis of Resalat’s articles shows that most content emphasize the necessity of participation in the upcoming election. Resalat newspaper, which is affiliated with Islamic Coalition Party (a principalist party), has published a number of op-eds from members of this party, including Assadollah Badamchian, partly supporting Hashemi- Rafsanjani, though a number of articles were observed against him this week.

The own-created content was low this week.

Newsmakers: Candidates were the most notable newsmakers of Resalat newspaper this week, with 36 articles quoted from these newsmakers.

Candidates: Election-related content published in Shargh were concerned with Akbar Hashemi Rafsnajani as great as with Rahim Mashayi, each totaling 13 articles. The next important candidate were Jalili and Lankarani.

Source Citation: Most content related to the election (82) was quoted from news agencies and websites. While 18 percent of the content were prepared and published exclusively by Resalat newspaper itself, no unsourced articles was found, which indicates Resalat’s adherence to ethics of journalism.

Partiality: Most election-related content were reportage.

Types of content: Most content related to the election was published in the form of news stories. The only strong point of Reslat is to publish op-eds from various political figures.

C. Iran newspaper

Main headlines related to the upcoming election come as follows:

• Maximum Participation in Election

• Election: Nation vs. Anti-Nation

• Accepting Guardianship of Jurist: from Hashemi to Ahmadinejad

• Futile coalitions

• Helping people to create a great epic

• To libel government is to overlook rights of Iranian nation

The content analysis of Iran newspaper over the past week shows that Ahmadinejad’s support for Mashayi on the day of registration for the election has been the most highlighted event. Iran newspaper has tried to make this event appear legal with a number of interviews and op-eds. On the other hand, defamation of Rafsanjani was another prevailing trend of this newspaper.

Newsmakers: State officials were the most notable newsmakers of Iran newspaper this week, of course after articles without any quotes.

Candidates: Election-related content published in Shargh were mostly concerned with Akbar Hashemi Rafsnajani. Incumbent-government nominee Mashayi was the next important candidate. Iran published a two-page interview with him.

Source Citation: Most content related to the election (61%) was prepared exclusively by Iran newspaper itself. While 22 percent of the content were published unsourced, 17 percent were republished from Iranian news agencies and websites.

Partiality: Slanderous, negative content accounted for 20 percent of all content related to the election.

Types of content: Most content related to the election was published in the form of news stories.

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