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.
When censorship starts from our self6 January 2012
Khabarnegaran.info-The story of issuing articles in press news in Iran is long and also difficult to bypass it in reality.
Censorship and self-censorship has always existed in Iran press news, in Hossein Tofiq’s diaries, we can find the affect of censorship during 50 years of publishing the weekly humours "Tofiq". He said “every single week, the central government has sent some officers who broke in to the building for checking news before printing".
But this time, the censorship blade is shading on Iranian press more than ever. These days, red lines are getting stronger for independent media inside the country. Around 9 various organizations directly or indirectly have an effect on the national media and press news, even we could see also in supreme leader speeches the direct order of censorship in news.
Journalist and media expert " Pedram Alvandi" , recently wrote in his weblog :" Journalists generosity about giving complete control over their work to government , has strived the editors rules. Rrather than a specific framework on the press, we can see more additional tastes has prevailed on the press and media. censorship hole which already had a deep particular red line has become a self-censorship and the preferences of amateur content on the professionalism in media, the boundary of a desperate desire of a good censorship becomes once in a week or several times seizures of the press which is passing the red lines .
On the other hand, newspapers’s reporters also expressed their dissatisfaction about self-censorship. A reporter with the back ground of working with the reformist newspaper said " I am less motivated and I don’t have a sentential journalism feeling any more , I think the content of all news papers is relatively similar which I know it becomes self-censorship.
He says: “I don’t have a good feeling about this type of journalism due to self censorship, but still, I stay in editorial so that I might to find a chance to stop doing that". This reporter added:" sometimes, I have not censored my articles and let the main editors do it , but still we are in a environment which forces us to comply".
Conservative journalism also does self censorship
The situation is so bad that censorship occurs even in the dissident fundamentalist newspapers. Even though they enjoy a much better degree of freedom of expression compared to the reformists, they’re still limited by censorship.
A reporter who is working in the dissident fundamentalist news paper like " Farda News" and " Tehran News " says : they have been removed my report from pages few times so during to write my report, I have tried not to mention some statistics news and write a more symbolic news about government.
These policies are being enforced while on the one hand the third, fourth, and fifth press laws emphasize on the necessity of " received and issues of national and international news" and the press’s right in publishing the " comments, constructive criticisms, suggestions and descriptions of people and the authorities" and being illegal to pressure and censorship by government officials and NGOs " and warning the criminal prosecution and dismissed the government officials.
A TV translator: we change the “protestor" to “terrorists"
According to the environment of the press, reporters have to follow the rules of censorship which is active there. Reporter and journalists who works in Peres TV has an interesting idea about Syrians??!! “We are covering Syria’s news but instead of using the word of protesting, we use terrorists”
He also added: “we don’t have permission to issue the news about Syria; as is and the way is being reported around the world. We issue them in the specific way and censor the most of the news".
A Reformists reporter: bypass the censorship
In this atmosphere, the reporters learn how to bypass censors and educate their audience to receive the main message. A reformists reporter who is working in political section had a different idea:, he says :" we observed the number of articles is being censor is increasing every day and the editorials have no wish for the newspaper to be banned by government censorship . But among all these events, we have learnt to write our report to make sense for our readers. He explains by saying: “that means don’t hit them directly and by following the press laws. As reporters, we have to know how to write according the laws. Our reports have to have references and wisely choosing their words".
He is concerned, and added: “at the first, they removed lot of my articles but after that I have learnt how to write and people would get the main message. In fact, I bypass the censorship". He also says: “I agreed that most times we cannot send the message in our articles but still that it’s the only way, our readers can get the message".
Currently there are many circulations from controlling organizations that are meant to cut back the resources that political reporters need, or threaten the presses who do not follow the regulations quite often. These circulations have empowered controlling organizations and expanded the areas the then can apply their filters and censorships. As a result, we see less divers’ contents from the press and we see the same subjects over and over again.
At the present time, at least 9 organizations are responsible to impose censorship by direct and indirect means on reporters and news media. For the survival, many of the media organizations decide not to fight the central government and limitation they have created on them by implementing self-censorship.
the main government organizations who are involved in the process, are the ministry of national communication and culture , the ministry of intelligence and revolutionary guard, religious authorities in Quam and the ministry of justice.
Self censorship is believed to be the origin of dictatorship but reporters are left with no option except to comply what government. They still hope to find a way to cross the barrier to send the true message to their readers.
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.