Iran’s English-Language TV Broadcast Plan Falters

July 8th, 2007 - by admin

The Star / Associated Press & Safa Haeri / Iran Press Service – 2007-07-08 08:30:39

Iran Launches English TV Channel to Counter Western Influence
The Star / Associated Press

TEHRAN, Iran (July 2, 2007) — Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad inaugurated an English-language satellite television channel Monday to counter what Iran claims is the West’s influence in covering news.

“Press TV (mms:// should broadcast the truth to the world,” said Ahmadinejad in a ceremony marking the inauguration. “This network should be a podium for freedom seekers and Muslims of the world.”

Mohammad Sarafraz, deputy head of Iran’s broadcasting company in charge of foreign channels, said more than three million people, one-half of them from the United States, have visited Press TV’s website over the last six months.

Sarafraz said the 24-hour channel would broadcast news every half-hour. He said the channel also plans to broadcast documentaries on US soldiers who quit the military.

The website of the channel said the goal of Press TV is to “break the global media stranglehold of western outlets” and “show the other side of the story” in the Middle East.

The channel belongs to Iran’s state broadcasting company, the only authorized body in the country to have radio and television channels.

The English-speaking network has 30 correspondents around the world, including Washington and New York City and the Gaza Strip in Palestine. Press TV said it would be broadcast on several satellites including Hot Bird and Arab Sat. It was not immediately known if any US-based satellite channels plan to show the station.

In accordance with Title USC. Section 107, this material is distributed without profit to those who have expressed a prior interest in receiving the included information for research and educational purposes.

A Media Flop Named Press TV
Safa Haeri / Iran Press Service

PARIS (July 4, 2007) — After months of preparations and propaganda, the Voice and Visage of the Islamic Republic of Iran (VVIR)’s mountain gave birth on second July 2007 to a new born that those who conceived it wowed that their offspring would “very quickly” become the flag bearer of the “anti-arrogance” (Western imperialists) crusaders in the field of media.

The prime task of the “PressTV”, the new 24 hours, English language network of the State-owned, leader-controlled Iranian Radio and Television is to “counter” major international mass media like CNN or the BBC in offering viewers and listeners news and views on “unbiased, balanced, true, just and open” basis challenging the “biased, one sided, double-standard, distorted” items projected by the Western media.

“PRESS TV was born out of the need “to break the global media stranglehold of Western outlets”, Mr. Ezzatollah Zarqami, the Director General of the VVIR, a former Revolutionary Guard officer pointed out during the inauguration ceremony of the network, attended by all senior officials of the regime, led by Mr. Mahmoud Ahmadi Nezhad, the fanatic President of the Islamic Republic of Iran.

This new and innovative channel should stand beside the oppressed nations of the world but not make news up in their favor”, Mr. Ahmadi Nezhad said, stressing that, “The media are used by the domineering powers to occupy lands and people’s hearts”.

“The mission of the media is that of the prophets”, he went on, adding: “All efforts must be made in order that lines between right and wrong, egoism and deism, love, prosperity and happiness of the people and threats and crackdown people are suffering be placed in front of the eyes of the whole world in an open and clear way”.

Mr. Ahmadi Nezhad, a staunch anti-westerner, accused the arrogance’s (Western) media to be the “path-finder and the logistic for the West’s aggression and occupation and it’s number one tool against other people”.

He also urged the network’s journalists and personnel not to “imitate the model of the “oppressors”, an indirect criticism of some successful Arab televisions like the Qatar-based “Al Jazeera” or the Dubai-based “Al-Arabiya”, both real and terrible challengers to American and European moguls like CNN or the BBC, “but to become yourself a model for others”.

Presenting the objectives of the new channel, Mr. Zarqami said Press TV would “create conditions that people all over the globe, with their different interpretations, could be informed by a different voice and a new view”.

“Today, people everywhere are thirsty about the path of the Imam (Rouhollah Khomeini, the leader of the Islamic Revolution). Press TV would be an occasion to develop for all people around the world the ideals of the late Imam, the great ideas of our great leader (Ayatollah Ali Khameneh’i) and the new outlooks of our beloved president”.

The channel, which has a total of more than 400 staff, has 26 reporters employed at different locations worldwide, including in Washington, New York, London, Beirut and Damascus, Abuja, Istanbul, Basra, al-Quds and many other strategic cities in the world.

“Its features will include documentaries on aspects of the Islamic world and culture as well as live talk shows”, said Mr. Mohammad Sarafraz, the Organisation’s Deputy General Director in charge of the international.

However a random survey of its internet site shows that contrary to Mr. Ahmadi Nezhad’s advises, not only Press TV is imitating American and British models, but lacks the experience of other networks of the VVIR, mostly the 24 hours Khabar (News) channel, a copy of CNN. The international news all comes from major international sources like Reuters, AP or AFP, with some name change, like replacing Israel with “the Zionist Entity”, or some small editing to show that it is the world of its own correspondents.

Reaching the site is very difficult. Most of the subject lack proper links. Whereas it takes second to open, let’s say RFI’s internet site, it would takes several minutes before the Press TV is on your desktop, if it is not “timed off”.

Articles are biased, odd, badly written and edited. Analyses are one sided, the entire regime’s official propaganda. Hamas is good, Fattah is bad. Hezbollah is good. Lebanese government is bad. The West is prey to islamophbia, as seen by a so-called “news analysis” presented on the first day by a certain Hedyeh Ghavidel on the latest terrorist operations in England:

“We will not yield, we will not be intimidated and we will not allow anyone to undermine our British way of life,” he (the new British Prime Minister) said in a televised interview.

It is becoming a tradition among western politicians to point a finger at Islam whenever a terrorist attack happens.

A British official said, “These are not the type of people who always carry identity documents, or who use their real identities.”

The sloppy work done by the terrorists and the evidence left behind tracing them to the scene of the crime, the easy course of investigations leading to quick arrests suggests these terrorist launching attacks on Britain are very stupid and not very well organized in contrast with remarks made by British officials.

Is it really the al-Qaeda who launched this attack or is it another interested party framing the Muslim nation by pointing the finger of blame at a terrorist group shunned by the Muslims? Reports made by supposed eyewitnesses claiming that men being pulled away from the scene were crying “Allah! Allah” is only a means to convince the public Muslims are the big bad wolf.

Raising the security threat level to ‘critical’, which means another attack is imminent, transmits a clear ‘hate your Arab or Muslim neighbors’ message which is reminiscent of how the US rounded up the Japanese population in the Pearl Harbor incident in a camp.

It is as though Britain is trying to follow in the steps of the global arrogance using the same threadbare propaganda ‘blame the Muslims’ as an opening act in the new adventures.

In the first act of this play, they enrage Muslims by knighting Rushdie and then they orchestrate a terrorist attack on an airport, which has nothing to do with Rushdie or the ongoing war, claiming Muslims are out to avenge Salman Rushdie’s knighthood and the Iraq war.

This lame act can be viewed as means of conning the British public who demand an immediate withdrawal of their troops and an end to the Iraq war. It is a means of justifying their longer stay in the Middle East.

After months of preparations and three days after its official launch, the Press TV turns out a big flop, another fiasco of Mr. Ahmadi Nezhad. “The problem with this new channel is that of the Islamic regime: It lacks fresh air, initiative. In one word, it lacks freedom”, said one journalist.

A Story that Probably Would Not Have Been Covered on Press TV Iranian Feminist Activist Sentenced to Lashes, Prison

(July 6, 2007) — An Iranian women’s rights activist was sentenced on Monday to 10 lashes and nearly three years in prison for her participation in a 2006 protest at Tehran Square. Delaram Ali, 24, along with nearly 70 others, was detained for several days after being arrested for protesting Iran’s discriminatory laws against women. Among other demands, the women called for divorce reform, equal inheritance laws, and the equal treatment of women’s testimonies in the eyes of the court in Iran.

According to Ali’s lawyer, Nasrin Sotoudeh, she was charged with “participation in an illegal gathering,” “propaganda against the system,” and “disturbing the public order,” according to Agence France Presse. Sotoudeh said that Ali was her fourth client to be convicted by the Islamic state for participating in last year’s protest, according to Kerala Next.

“The [Iranian] women’s movement is expanding and it worries the government,” said Sotoudeh, according to Reuters. “Delaram Ali’s sentence is too heavy…a [lashing] sentence for social and women’s rights activists is against international law,” she said, according to AFP. Sotoudeh told Reuters that the sentence would be appealed, and that Ali has been released on $21,000 bail.

In accordance with Title USC. Section 107, this material is distributed without profit to those who have expressed a prior interest in receiving the included information for research and educational purposes.