The Media Landscape in Iran

 Council on Foreign Relations - A Nonpartisan Resource for Information and Analysis

Author:  Greg Bruno, Staff Writer

July 22, 2009

Introduction:  Iranian authorities have reinforced controls on major domestic media following the upheaval over contested presidential election results in June 2009. One month after the disputed vote, nearly forty journalists remained in Iranian prisons. Yet Iran's media landscape, like many aspects of the theocratic regime, is riddled with contradictions. The flow of

information into and within Iran has genuinely improved over the last decade; since 2000, Iran's leaders have oscillated between tightening and loosening restrictions on the country's domestic news media. While Iran's reformist (or liberal) news outlets have suffered funding cuts and closures, conservative newspapers now frequently criticize government policies. Some foreign journalists say they, too, have seen past restrictions ease, and despite recent Iranian attempts to jam signals and confiscate satellite dishes, the transmission of foreign-funded Persian news broadcasts are proliferating, giving Iranians greater access to British, French, and U.S. broadcasting inside Iran.

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