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20 newspapers published for every 1,000 individuals in Iran

Mashhad, Khorassan Prov, July 7, IRNA -- Deputy Minister of Culture and Islamic Guidance for Press Affairs Seyed Mohammad Sohofi here Wednesday said that currently 20 domestic newspapers are published for every one thousand individuals.

Speaking at the first conference of managing editors of provincial periodicals, he said that the standard ratio is 100 per 1,000 individuals.

He cited the inability of newspapers to attract readers, ineffective marketing and mismanagement of publishing establishments as the main reasons for the lack of vitality in the country's press.

Turning to the differences of views on the activities of the press, particularly the freedom required by journalists in their work, among officials in charge of supervision, he said that the shortage of qualified journalists and the conflict in motives of those who dominate press activities account for the current weakness.

"In addition, lack of funds and unreliability of government funding for periodicals make the situation worse," he said.

"The government's failure to back periodicals financially will lead to their bankruptcy, no matter how honorable their objectives may be," he added.

Turning to the press as the forth pillar of government along with the three major branches, he said it is through the press that the public is able to make known its views.

The strength of public opinion, therefore, is highly dependent on the independence of the press from the government.

"Papers and magazines should not be published only for economic gain. The press can and should try to achieve financial independence by covering its expenses from income derived through advertising," he concluded.

... Payvand News - 7/7/04 ... --

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