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.
Challenges Faced By Iranian Journalists:Imprisonment and Unemployment29 September 2011
khabarnegaran .info: Nowadays Iranian journalists live under the most severe pressure and worst situation. Everyday they face dangers by the government and their writings if even few may cause imprisonment for them for many years. To earn their livings,many journalists encounter a lot of problems. The number of newspaper agencies where they can work are so few that not all of them can find empty places for job. These newspapers which are mostly private pay them irregularly and very low salaries. In Iran unemployment , these days , is the most difficult challenge in life faced by journalists .
They Want Us Die
One of the journalists who had been unemployed after the tenth presidential election states that." Our newspaper was ceased exactly after holding the election. Actually since then, I have no job.I worked as a driver for a taxi agency and as a shopkeeper for few months. But now I’m completely unemployed. I write articles for few magazines and journals they pay me a little money as wages but not every month.As a matter of fact, now a days, my wife and I can manage our life by spending the low salary of hers. Under such condition Don’t you think that they want to cease our life. They want to do something so that we the journalists would not be able to go back to life, and drown into our problems and die.
Until a Few Years later, Journalism Would Have No Meaning In Iran
"S-N" is another journalist who had recently started working in a pharmacy. This 30 years old journalist states that " After the election my newspaper was closed so I started working for one of the government newspapers, but their the only thing that had no meaning was writing news and the truth. They asked me to write about whatever they wanted , therefore I made up my ming to quit this profession for ever. Since I decided not to leave my country, I started a profession which has no relation to my major. I always have the fear of that the profession of journalism is going to be meaningless in Iran until a few years later. This means that we would never have a true journalist. We would never have objective and independent journalists, and the newspapers would be filled with people who only obey and follow their employee’s orders. According to him"The profession of journalism might be ceased in the future and only my colleagues in exile would probably be able to report news from abroad, which is not considered to be true journalism."
Taking Revenge From Journalists
"During the past two decades , journalists made the life of authorities very hard, therefore , heavy sentences and unemployment are the result of their revenge." This point was raised up by one of the journalists who had worked in the past, but now he does not write any more for the newspapers. He is still watching and investigating in this field and he is worried about the future of journalism in our country . He says,"In the past two years authorities had provided the ability of taking revenge . they attempt to frighten journalists who might be on the side of the independent journalists or follow them . Hence, they make the conditions more difficult for them every day to the extent that economical and social pressure force them to leave Iran and continue their professional duties in giving information abroad . this means that the few readers of internal media in our country are going to be deprived from receiving the semi half news.He states that "Dur to such conditions and specifically the condition of journalists who are imprisoned and unemployed , eventually , all other journalists might quit their profession and prefer to work as employees in the offices. I can see the death of professional journalists in Iran because of this system.
We Will Never Leave The Stage
One of the journalists who is staying at home and following the news these days instead of writing for a newspaper since his newspaper has been closed states that "what does it mean if a journalist is sentenced to be deprived from writing and commenting for the rest of his life? Does it have any meaning other than fear"? He says "these days, some of my colleagues are imprisoned and some have left Iran. But in my opinion these difficult conditions would have no impact on the professional journalists and such journalists would fulfill their professional duties that is publishing news under any condition. Now a days , we have launched and managed our own blogs and sites where we can share news and information we obtain on the social sites. A professional journalist would never forget his own duty and if the government believe that they can checkmate them they are completely wrong.These days , journalists in Iran live under the most severe pressures. Imprisonment , unemployment , poverty and insecurity ,always accompany them, but some of them will never be defeated , they constantly declare that if a newspaper is published, then they would continue their profession. Nowadays, unemployment always accompanies these journalists, and they long for being able to write once again in a newspaper.
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.