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.
Concerns and difficulties of local journalists in Iran9 October 2011
khabarnegaran.info:-‘’I think talking about local journalism is not the right topic at all while all the news are in Tehran and also journalists in other cities have no rights, so that is why I think there is no point to discuss about local journalism.’’ one of the journalists in Azerbaijan said that about the situation of journalism in other cities in Iran. She added she didn’t know to talk about which part of the problems regards local journalism because she believed that it is not technically existed these days.
She said:’’ while all the important news are happening in Tehran what can we do in other cities? Do you know even locals are not very interested in local newspapers or journals? The journals can effort their costs just by getting advertisements .even the managers don’t pay anything to the editor so in this condition how we can think and work professionally!
Some of the other journalists that I met and talked about the local journalism with have the same ideas and they believe that local publications have not developed enough in comparison with other advanced countries so it is the main reason that a lot of local journalist prefer to move to the capital city in order to improve and promotion
In some cities of Iran two or three newspapers or a few weeklies are being published. These journals are not that much professional and they all have financial problems .most of their articles are from archive and the majority of the space is dedicated for advertisements. Rather than writing reports about their own cities they publish important news of Tehran. But still there are some hardworking journalists who are still trying their best there.
The result of a research regarding ‘challenges and opportunities in local journalism’ in some cities like Azerbaijan , Hamedan, Sistan and Balouchestan shows that all these newspapers have something in common and it shows the local journalism hasn’t achieved the right position nor from cultural respect nor organisational ,statutory and professional aspects because the owners of these publications should do try to get advertisement to cover their cost so it makes them dependent to the advertisements and forces them to stay away from their own real professional position.
Lack of experts in local newspapers
An Azeri journalist elaborates :’’ a local journalist should think about the commission and advertisement all the time in order to earn some money so how can we think professionally ? She is working for newspapers in capital city and she thinks it slightly helps her to learn professional journalism. According to her sayings there is no border between advertisement seekers and journalists in other provinces and while commercial activities mixed to the journalism nothing left with the name of professional journalism. .
She believed that the professional journalism is something meaningless in other cities because you just need to look for advertisements or publish the news regarding to the public relations even if you write about your city’s news it can’t be seen in these newspapers. She added: I have written some reports about my city but I preferred to publish them in nationwide newspapers in Tehran. .
But her colleague has another point of view. He said: because of less limitation and control over these journals it is easier to publish good and useful articles but I do agree that these newspapers have provided fewer facilities for their journalists and the only reason that we are still working here loves this profession. He added: actually the income from this job is not enough and most of us should have the second job as well because sometimes we don’t receive any salary for couple of months also in many cases it is not enough even for paying our rent. You can’t imagine how many friends I have who are interested to learn more to be able to write a proper local reports for their newspapers, many of them may not think about the income but again they don’t know whom they should learn from .knowing about page laying out, writing news, and preparing professional reports is a need for them .other cities and towns are not the centre of important incidents like Tehran so it is very important to know how to cover local news.
The journalists without income and the semi closed newspapers
One of the journalists from Golestan province said : local journalists receive no money in fact so how we can expect them to stay in their jobs .their salaries come from the commission of advertisements even worse these days there are some limitations for adverts too and particularly the critic newspapers are not allowed to get any adverts .so that is why I believe that the local newspapers are dead . the average money that a journalist can earn from commissions of adverts is around $150 per calendar month .and the maximum facilities that they can have in their own small offices are two or three computers, an internet line and a camera and some desks and chairs
The Gorgani’s journalist also gave me some information about their insurance situation : when Mr khatami was president around 60 journalists was insured by helping of the Golestan’s journalism association .but now because of the financial crisis many of them are not insured .he also emphasise that the previous government had given subsidy to the local journals and it was a help for them but now there is not much help or it is very less .so that is why most of the newspapers are closed or have being closed,
So due to all the things that is mentioned above managers are not keen to spent money for a proper reports so the only time that they can support their team to do so is when they have enough adverts hence journalists cannot promote in their jobs. »
These are just a small portion of problems and difficulties in front of local journalists and their own publications although the potential of having affluent work forces in this field is very high .the local journalists would like to be taught professional journalism and educational workshops are very essential in this matter.
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