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 journalism schools aren’t successful in Iran23 July 2014
Translated by: Hanaa Jam
Khabarnegaran.info-Nikki Azad: how many successful journalists came out of journalist schools of Iran during recent years? Did the graduates of these universities made it to journalism world? Some believe that weakness in academic system in this major is the reason there is no successful journalist in this business. At the same time some others think that teaching theory of journalism isn’t enough and this profession needs a special talent as well, and for accepting the students, different angels need to be surveyed.
Papers without journalism graduates
According to a university research, only 10% of the journalism graduates work in Iran’s press. Does it mean that the journalism schools can’t educate good journalists or its papers’ fault and they can’t assign these graduates and still prefer people with experience in this field who knows the ups and downs of the job?
" we see an increase in admissions in communication major , but unfortunately there’s no proportionality in the business field , I mean with these increase , we don’t see an increase of graduated people getting job in papers, some just got into this major by accident , they chose it in university and had no passion for it , so it’s obvious that they won’t become a journalist at the end , because in interviews I had with these people for my research it seemed that the university couldn’t interest them to this field and neither made them an expert .
So I think before getting to the main topic we should see that the way of accepting students in this major is wrong , people who like this major should get an admission not the ones who get in by chance and their goal is to get a degree at the end ." Said Ali-A , master graduate from Alameh Tabatabae university in journalism who did a research on this matter , he wants his name not to be revealed in his conversation with Iranian Journalists
Academic or practical education?
But what is journalist’s opinion? In what level they believe in academic education and how much do they value talent, affection and experience as important elements of becoming a journalist?
Easa SaharKhiz is one of the journalists who answered our questions. Beside journalistic activities, he used to hold workshops for young Iranian journalists in Young Journalist Association, these classes were mostly educational and its goal were to introduce the news frames of journalistic world to journalists.
He says: "academic education is essential in every field and no one can deny it, even in journalism and media activities, but the thing is, at this field writing skills and using the right words and info’s in right places is the ultimate. Maybe that’s because some people think that most of the best journalists has never gone to these schools and yet they do better that the educated ones. "
In Saharkhiz view, if these not educated professionals had the academic experience and were familiar to this major , then they would do much better than what we see .
Journalism as an art and booklet dependent students
One of the other journalists who answered our questions is Ismael Azadi , editor in chief of "Mohandes Moshaver " ( consult engineer) and "Eghlim Chaharom " (the forth province ) , he emphasizes a lot on changing the way of admission in schools because he believes that talent is a really important factor and a journalist must love his/her job. He emphasizes: "journalism is first an art and then a specialty. It’s an ability that not everyone has and of course learning it through education in university can make these talented people very enabling, another important factor is that even having a passion for journalism and studying it in a university won’t make ones a journalist. If you take a look at educational backgrounds of famous journalists you would see that they don’t necessarily studied journalism. I should add another point, that in our country, choosing a major in university is not based on talent or passion."
It seems that there’s a huge difference between academic education and gaining experience through working in an editorial. These days, changing method of giving admission for journalism studies became a serious discussion, which both students and journalists pointed out. Because in a country like Iran, with all the problems for becoming a journalist and remaining one, you can’t ignore the rule that talent and affection plays.
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.