You’ll find here the english translation of some articles of khabarnegaran.info.
Having women in management is one of the key issues that must be studied closely. The number of women managers and women editors in chief could be a good topic to study. It is not really difficult to get into the details of the depressing share of women in media management in Iran.
Iranian independent journalists are under extra pressure these days. Both employed and unemployed journalists, who live their lives in a journalistic theme, have always lived with the thought of newsrooms and newspapers in the back of their head.
Censorship has gained a new weight and new meaning in recent weeks. Censorship has reached a point that aims to manipulate reports on people’s daily routines. Journalists believe that such policies would only leave people in disappointment and abuses their trust to the media. Censorship about inflation and price rise in the country are the latest redlines defined for journalists at economy desks.
The organization ‘Reporters Without Borders’, based in Paris, publishes an annual report, ‘Press Freedom Index’, which measures ‘violation directly affecting journalists and netizens (including murders, imprisonment, physical attacks and threats) and news media (censorship, confiscation of newspaper issues, searches and harassment)’; the degree of impunity enjoyed by those responsible for these press freedom violations’; the level of self-censorship in each country and the ability of the media to investigate and criticize; financial pressure; the legal framework for the media ; the level of independence of the public media; and violations of the free flow of information on the Internet. In the latest version of the report, ‘Press Freedom Index 2011-2012’ CPJ’s ‘10 Most Censored Countries’ appear on the lowest ranks of a list of 179 countries. Iran is four steps away from the bottom of the list, higher than Syria, Turkmenistan, North Korea, and Eritrea.
Her first significant journalistic experience was an interview with Anwar Sadat, the then president of Egypt and it has been almost 40 years ago. Veteran journalists who had worked at Pars News Agency (now known as IRNA) remember Ozra Dejam very well. She met her husband “Mahmoud Mahjoub” at Pars News Agency. They initiated their own tiny newsroom and inspired their three daughters to enter this field. She tells us a few of her memories and stories from Pars News Agency. Dejam tells us about a book she is writing about her journalist husband. She also tells us about her wishes for the society of Iranian journalists and her hopes for politicians to leave journalism for journalists.
At the present condition we cannot judge any of these proposal laws impartially. However, one must remember that democratic laws are ratified under democratic conditions. Here we raise this question: “Is Iran experiencing a democratic condition so that we can expect a democratic law to be ratified in this country?”
We initially heard that, on June 20th, the political prisoners at Evin’s section 350 (including my brother) held a memorial service in the prison yard for their former cell mate Hoda Saber who was martyred last year while on hunger strike. Halfway through the ceremony the special guards at the prison raided the ceremony and transferred a number of prisoners, including Bahman, to solitary confinement. That same night, at around 12:30am, Bahman was awoken, blindfolded and taken to Rajai Shahr prison, in Karaj, in his pyjamas and slippers.
Why isn’t news satire tolerated in Iranian media? Lately, this question has been raised quite often, especially since the news satire has been put on tight spots. News satire relies heavily on irony and deadpan humor and a permit to joke with politicians, powerful figures and the society. Recently the Morvarid Publication published the third collection of “Satirists of Today Iran”. This book, which is gathered by Iranian researcher and satirist Roya Sadr, is a collection of 51 satire pieces form 51 young and middle-age Iranian authors and satirists. The first and the second volume of the collection were gathered by Bijan Asadi and late Omran Salahi.
Recently rumours had it that the journalism degree at master level at Allameh Tabatabai University was subsidized based on genders. If this one was a rumour, elimination of two majors from MA level of this university in the coming year is a fact. Public Relations and Journalism at MA level were removed from the list of new students’ options. The Arman Newspaper announced that “gender subsidies was imposed on journalism major at MA level at Allameh Tabatabai University” and stated that this university was no longer accepting female students at this major.
Either call it charter or a book of law or even an ethical charter, whatever its name is; it has not been registered under the Iranian Press Regulation yet. There are various copies of its drafts, however, we cannot find a final version of it. Iran is one the few countries that does not enjoy any ethical press regulations
A young journalist who often signs the statements and petition says: "I do not find a logical connection between these two matters. How can we keep our silence when one of our colleagues is imprisoned? I have been reporting for a few years and I did my best to be unbiased. However, I am fully aware that we cannot be completely unbiased. Choosing a reformist newspaper over a conservative newspaper was the first step that I took walking away from pure impartiality. So I can say no one is perfectly unbiased.
A woman journalizers working the Kayhan Newspaper recalls a story of herself which happened at least 17 years ago. She was a member of a team that was supposed to cover a high ranking Iranian official’s political assignment to a number of countries. For the first time women journalists asked their editors in chief why they could not go on assignments to cover international events.
Independent journalists and critics of the Iranian government are suffering both from political pressure and also financial burden. Censorship, interrogation, imprisoning of independent journalists and closing newspapers, many journalists lost their job, they don’t have national health insurance, and even if they do they only have access to the minimum services.
According to various professional regulations in the world, journalists are banned from receiving any gifts from governments. By the March 2012 – end of the Iranian calendar – the Iranian president Mahmoud Ahmadinjad’s gift to reporter made the headlines. This loud and noisy story started on 8 August 2011, which is Reporters Day in Iran. The Iranian president Ahmadinejad invited reporters to a building that was previous venue of the parliament. He hosted a meeting to mark the Reporters Day.
Can a journalist be both a political activist and a social activist? Does not political and social involvement affect the journalist’s impartiality? How can the journalist deal with his social and professional responsibility? How are journalists under dictatorship categorised? What is the true story behind the professional journalism? Khabarnegaran.info has interviewed Omid Memarian, MA graduate of UC Berkeley Graduate School of Journalism to find the answer to some of these questions.
A few reporters are working at a limited number of independent newspapers in the country, who suffer serious problem in producing and sending their reports and news. How do these independent journalist survive the suffocating atmosphere? How do they manage to continue their job under censoring eyes of the government? Many of critics of such situation are wondering if it is the time to go on a strike and stop writing under such tight censorship. Some are wondering if they should use any tribune to get their voice heard and never give up their position.
Japanese’s journalists usually refer to a famous saying that "regulated media does not need press law" and it is the main principle in Japan. That is the reason why every journalist has his own regulation instead of a generic press law generalised to all. The regulations, which are set up by journalists, are able to prevent an article from being published or introduce a new professionally ethical framework. It is a new experience that has never been practiced in Iran. Here we can raise a question; will journalist experience a day that they decide for their media or will it always be a government poking its nose into media job?
Minou Badiyi is a veteran Iranian journalist who began his career as a journalist with the Kayhan Newspaper in the year 1977. She has continued working with the renowned Persian newspaper for 22 years. After 23rd of May 1997, the date President Mohammad Khatami set to win a landslide victory in the 1997 presidential election, Badiyi joined the a reformist newspapers and news websites; namely, Neshat Newspaper, Asr-e Azadegan Newspaper and Economic News. She is currently an editor in chief of two inter-organisation news publication and also teaches at the School of Media Studies. Although she is really busy, she manages to find time to write books about journalism. She is still so passionate about reporting and never deprived her students or anyone who is interested in news from her knowledge of reporting and journalism. She believes reporting has not been developed well in Iran. Badiyi promises to share her skill and knowledge gained in several years of experience in Iranian media with everyone who has an interest in journalism in her latest book.
The Number of Iranian Journalists Arrested Increases; Those Already Behind Bars Abused, Facing Severe Restrictions
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".
Bahman Ahmadi-Amouee’s letter to parliament deputies about the articles in which he exposed financial corruption in Ahmadinejad’s administration
Bahman Ahmadi-Amouee, critical journalist and author of two economics books, The Political Economy of the Islamic Republic and How the Islamic Republic’s Men Became Technocrats, was arrested during the unrest after the 2009 presidential elections and has been held in Evin prison since then. The most important accusations against Mr Ahmadi-Amouee are based on articles in which he had criticized the Ahmadinejad administration’s economic performance and financial corruption in some of the institutions affiliated with it.
"The Media is capable of shaping our mindset and even change our opinion or confirm and validate our idea about a specific topic," Shahla Ezazi, a professor of sociology, lectured the Iranian Sociological Association in Tehran University. The lecture was about the imaginary or real reflection of social events in media.
He is a master of journalism and he is well known among his fellow journalists for his choice of headlines. I am talking about Hossein Ghandi. They say he has become ill with Alzheimer’s; the same master of journalism that loved his career passionately and transferred his knowledge to students at universities. He believed from the bottom of his heart that there is a sunrise after each sunset. He taught his students that they never should let disappointment dominate their soul, especially if they were journalists and lovers.
Literature was his favourite course at school. He is quoted as saying: “I counted the days down until it was the day we had literature at school again.” It was the teacher of the same course that discovered his talent for journalism and later he was selected as the best journalist at event desk in Iran. Mohammad Bolouri, 75, never forgets his passion and his love for his profession, journalism. He states: “you have to be passionately in love with journalism. Sometimes I call it agony in the garden but if you are a lover, you must be patient.”
In hindsight, we can raise some questions. Why don’t the employers solve these issues? Don’t the journalists talk about their problems to their employers? Are employers so ignorant that they close their eyes on these shortcomings? Are they willing to clear these flaws in the service? A journalist states: “sometimes employers try to solve some issues and make the workplace better for their staff. However, there are situations that the employers told us straight out that we have to deal with the shortcomings. If not, we had to quit our job.”
This female journalist complains of the lack of news about women in the newspapers while the news should have been given more value than any other in the newspapers,but because of the patriarchal mentality of the managers they have been neglected.
Fairness, justice, neutrality, balance, impartiality, and unbiased reporting are terms that journalists are familiar with. However, to what extent can journalists use their own ideas and analysis in their reports? Does the personal analysis of a reporter distance the report from fair and unbiased news coverage? Can journalists act as photojournalists and only serve the role of witnesses who record events as they unfold? May journalists view themselves only as postmen who deliver the news package to the reader’s house doors?
For some time, I had been wondering why the Iranian security and judicial authorities have imprisoned my spouse, Bahman(2), and several hundred other political prisoners, and how much of the goal that they follow through their imprisonment has been reached. A few days ago, a memory came back to me and told me not to think too much about their aim or try to understand it.
‘’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.
Imprisonment of journalists in the recent years has hardly been a rare phenomenon and there has been plenty of coverage in the media of detention of journalists. This has especially been the case over the past two years, because after the disputed presidential election of 2009, the imprisonment of the journalists has become practically routine. Indeed, these days there are more journalists being detained than politicians.
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 .
Journalist Jila Baniyaghoub Summoned to Court for the 5th Time Since the 2009 Presidential Elections
Bahman however, was one of the many who was confined to a solitary cell in ward 240, where he couldn’t even stretch out his legs, and in that unbearable heat in summer of 2009. Yet, when asked about that experience, he again smiles and shakes his head… “Solitary confinement provides odd and strange moments – a certain void – wherein you can take stock of your life and every moment of it. You actually realize just how incredibly invaluable your loved ones are to you and how beautiful life can be…”
14 Incarcerated Journalists-The Islamic Republic is Responsible for the Lives & Well Being of the Leaders of the Green Movement
Today more than 40 Iranian journalists and media experts are behind bars. Some have been received life long bans and others been deprived for upwards of ten years from practicing their vocation, while others given their unsafe work environment and high risk associated with their professional life have opted for a form of self imposed exile. In the past two years, the courts under the jurisdiction of the Islamic Republic have issued at minimum 40 years of prison sentences against journalists and media experts, while others continue to await their sentences. The Association of Iranian Journalists has been closed without judicial due process and during this time many of its board members have also been arrested and incarcerated.
Saeed Matinpour, an Azerbaijani journalist and civil activist, known for his defense of the right to an education in his native Turkish language. He is sentenced to 8 years in prison. He was charged with “Propagating against the state” and “Foreign connections” by Judge Salevati who had reviewed most of the 108 cases of journalists and activists arrested in the aftermath of 2009 elections, and handed down heavy fines and long prison sentences, without due process. Matinpour is currently serving the 2nd year of his prison term most of which has been spent in solitary confinement, under torture and a resulting heart condition.
In an interview with Khabarnegaran Iran, Matinpour’s wife, Atieh Tahery wished that “the peaceful and patriotic young citizens of the country were not always treated as suspects,” while holding back her tears.
He always said there are three things in life that he was passionate about: “News, Journalism and Studying”. And it was his passion that finally drove this journalist to prison. Siamak Ghaderi, the 43 year-old blogger and journalist has been locked up inprison since July of 2010 without a single day of furlough.
He is now spending his days at ward 350 of Evin prison, along with several of his colleagues. Siamak Ghaderi is a journalist best known as a government critic. As a senior reporter of IRNA [Islamic Republic News Agency], Siamak had not only been constantly challenging the management policies of this news agency, on his weblog entitled “Our IRNA”, but also extended his criticisms to the government policies, and continued to analyze the strategies of the leaders of the Green Movement, after the 2009 presidential elections. Criticisms that ultimately led to his dismissal from IRNA despite 18 years of work, and ending up with a 4-year prison sentence, as well as a monetary fine and 60 lashes.
About the final shutdown of the magazine, Toulaaii says: “During the last 3 years of our publication, we received multiple warnings from the Ministry of Guidance. The overall political climate after the first of year of Ahmadinejad’s presidency, began spiraling down a tighter space, until the day when publishing a poem by Mrs. Simin Behbahani was used an excuse to shut us down. They interpreted the contents of this poem as an “insult to the late Ayatollah Khomaini”; while this same poem had previously appeared in a book.
“My darling Bahman, Why did they release me and not you? I feel a great sense of guilt. I ask myself if I made mistakes in my answers during the interrogations. Maybe I showed weakness! Perhaps, I displayed signs of remorse for the actions I had committed prior to my arrest… But, you are strong and tolerant. I am proud of all these characters traits of yours…”
Jila was arrested as a result of her writings in the aftermath of June 2009 elections in Iran, mainly because her writings are clearly worrisome for the Iranian regime
The Heart Breaking Story of Mohammad Davari, Incarcerated Journalist, Teacher & Editor of Saham News
He is both ajournalist and a teacher. Though his name appears under every statement published from Evin and he has always participated in every hunger strike, protesting the existing conditions, very few people recognized his name and he is seldom written about. His name is Mohammad Davari, incarcerated political prisoner and former editor of Saham News, currently behind bars at Evin’s Ward 350. On rare occasion we have read about his mother’s anguish as a result of having no news of her son and being so far from him through online media outlets. She is the only person who occasionally speaks of her son’s loneliness and isolation.
‘Bahman,’ I say, ‘I’ve heard the button is there so the conversations between the prisoners and their relatives could be monitored.’ ‘I don’t know if that’s true’, you say, ‘but if it is, I wish they could buy a more sophisticated piece equipment so we would not have to keep this button pressed throughout the visit.’ ahman, Monday was the third day of our hunger strike. Today is the ninth day. I said to you, ‘Everyone says a hunger strike must have a specific demand, but your hunger strike does not have a specific and tangible demand.’ ‘Who says it doesn’t?’ you say. ‘Is the demand for an investigation into the deaths of Hoda Saber and Haleh Sahabi not specific?’
In the absence of a free and independent media and widespread censorship, the questioned raised, is how journalists can effectively inform the public at large regarding current affairs. As a result of the systematic, extensive shutdown of daily newspapers, many reporters with access to accurate news and information had no means of disseminating the news amongst Iranian citizens.
This issue was of such vital importance in the daily lives of so many ordinary citizens that those with limited access to free and independent media, pondered upon creative ways to spread important information with other members of society with little to no direct access to independent media outlets.
With the exception of Emadeddin Baghi who was released from prison two days ago, the incarcerated journalists at Evin prison, continue their hunger strike. Four journalists whose only crime was writing and criticizing, have each spent months behind bars and now they are participating in a hunger strike protesting the killing of Haleh Sahabi and their prison mate Hoda Saber, a journalist and social activist who eventually died in a hospital as a result of prison officials ignoring the complications arising from his hunger strike.
« The declaration of the journalists’ duties and rights » constitutes the reference text which fixes the main principles of the journalistic profession’s ethics. This declaration which is also named the journalist’s charter was adopted in 1971 in Munich, by the journalistic federation’s representatives from the European Union, Switzerland and Austria, as well as from diverse international organizations.