“Iranian journalists live like guerrillas. They go into hiding and then resurface again,” explains the young editor of the online cultural news portal Journalism for Peace (www.jour4peace.com). Mazdak-Ali Nazari, 26, is one of a growing number of Iranian journalists utilizing the Internet.
Over the last year, pressure on Iranian print journalists has increased resulting in a decrease in the number of print publications and an increase in online news sites and Web logs or “blogs.”
“Today, the quality and content of the press has been reduced to the lowest level. Some journalists have left the profession. Many well-known reporters have left the country, and those who have stayed behind move from one newspaper to the next or from one journal to another,” says Mazdak-Ali.
According to Mazdak-Ali, there is a
strong Interest in journalism amongst young people in
Part of their disappointment is
related to media training. In
“There are a few courses available at the university, but the level is low. Some of us have attended seminars offered by the International Federation of Journalists, but it has been more troublesome than beneficial,” says Mazdak-Ali.
Training programs are sometimes held, but according to Mazdak-Ali, they are rarely open to all.
“Those journalists who are more qualified are not allowed to attend seminars or take courses; only those who are part of the establishment can benefit from these courses. The rest of us are in a vacuum for now.”
When asked about the future,
Mazdak-Ali is optimistic. In his opinion, the establishment of a new independent
guild which would solely support and defend the rights of journalists is vital
to the development of a strong independent media in
Mazdak-Ali’s story is illustrative
of the determination of a new breed of resourceful young journalists in
“This was my first journalism venture,” he explains, “but because of the existing atmosphere, I was expelled.”
After his experience at university, Mazdak-Ali continued to participate in the publication and editing of several other magazines, including a sports magazine which was also closed down, before establishing Journalism for Peace in 2005.
As an Iranian and a journalist,
Mazdak-Ali is concerned about the image
“I heard that in
According to Mazdak-Ali, Iranian
journalists can improve
branded as spies working against
Journalism 4 Peace offers Persian language articles on cinema, TV, music, literature, arts, sports, and personal memoirs. The mission of the Web site is to promote cultural dialogue.
For more information,
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