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.
Interview with Siamak Ghaderi, a journalist
Security atmosphere is still upon media18 October 2014
Translated by: Hana Jam
Khabarnegaran.info – Saba Etemad:
What is the most important and useful action that Rouhani’s state can do in Iran’s media era? Siamak Ghaderi, a journalist respond to this question quiet frank: ” you can’t have high expectations“ He talks about media situation, censorship, journalists security, pressure on journalists and media security comparing to what we had in Ahmadi Nejad tenure in this short interview. Siamak Ghaderi used to work for IRNA, he got out of prison just recently. He was arrested at his home in 2010 and spent 4 years of his sentence in Evin prison without a day off.
Ban Ki Moon, Secretary-General of the United Nations says in his latest report that freedom of speech situation in Iran hadn’t improve at all. How much are you agree or disagree with it?
Well of course the security environment is a little lower comparing to Ahmadi Nejad tenure, but you must be noted that military-security organs control parts of the country. The new governments’ situation can be analyzed in the same frame and the mentioned organs are trying to stop states promises to become operational.
Which promises do you think Rohani didn’t make in Media area? And which ones did he keep?
Generally it got a little improved in freedom of speech area, but there were no actions regarding to prevent illegal actions on closing media associations. There are still contacts with reporters and journalists and we shouldn’t put all the blames on governments. In last president’s tenure aside from official and unofficial censorship organs, National Security High Council also had different orders in politics, economy, social and cultural areas and they were asking medias to avoid publishing critical news or reports, right now it seems like such interferes are only on foreign policies and nuclear case and government has less direct affects.
For example we can point out, National Security High Council orders on avoiding to right about increase on the prices even on retails, the most critical contacts were made during Ahmadi Nejad’s time. Taking actions against journalists and Medias were so severe that even small Medias with less audiences were in face of attack if they criticized corruption situations or government’s lack of organization and they would be controlled and filtered by those organs. Thousands of critics got fired from state’s organs or departments.
In presidential election days, some journalists became Rohani’s supporters. I want to know how much you know those journalists. And are those still Rohani’s supporters?
I’m in contact with some of these journalists through internet. They believe that the reason governments are incapable of accomplishing their plans is the military and security interferences. So they have a fair view on justifying the state’s government’s incapability. But we must note that after election 2009, presidential election organ‘s situation went into some kind of ambiguity .now, states can’t explain their incapability with being caught in two systems.
What is the most important and useful action that Rouhani’s state can do in Iran’s media era?
You can’t have high expectations, just in some levels like: trying for unions activation, writing regulations to increase journalists incomes, avoiding interference in their profession ,prevention of filing complaints against medias by governmental agencies, mollification by helping in housing and health fields, and commitment of governmental organs to answer to medias.
During last year which fields were easier to work for journalists and which were difficult?
In political fields you can work until the red lines which are the green movement, Imprisonments, arrests and forbidden fields of governments.in cultural field there are still supervision of unofficial radicals which is makes it hard to work. In Economic fields, if you criticize the previous state government about poverty and corruption, that’s ok but direct, complaint of the current ones has a low tolerance. In social fields, it seems like the Irreparable damages that the previous government made and the growth of different social damages and at the same time the destruction of the NGOs and no response from governmental organs made journalists to lose their motivations.
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.