An auspicious beginning for Iran’s English TV network.
“‘An antidote to Fox’: Iran launches English TV channel,” by Oliver Burkeman, Helen Pidd and Robert Tait for The Guardian:
Much of yesterday’s airtime was occupied by long extracts from a soporifically gentle interview with Venezuela’s Hugo ChÃ¡vez, and a slow-moving documentary about Russian culture. That – rather than the channel’s overtly propagandistic tone – seemed likely to prove the biggest obstacle to its success. As Fox News discovered, you do not need to worry too much about the truth, just as long as you keep your reports to 60 seconds, and use a lot of loud music.
Press TV’s website took a more forthrightly partisan approach, emulating the design of the BBC News site to an almost spooky degree, but with material to make the BBC blanch. A story about the attempted attacks on London and Glasgow airport, headlined More threadbare propaganda from the west, was a perfectly serviceable account of recent events – until the final paragraphs, where the reporter suggested they were staged by the UK government, in order to tarnish the image of Muslims enraged by the knighting of Salman Rushdie.
Inside Iran, meanwhile, the channel itself did not seem to be available at all. At the launch of Press TV, at the headquarters of state broadcaster IRIB,president Mahmoud Ahmadinejad said its goal was to counter “propaganda” peddled by western channels. “Knowing the truth is the right of all human beings but the media today is the number one means used by the authorities to keep control,” he said. “We scarcely know a media that does its duty correctly. Our media should be a standard bearer of peace and stability. “
According to “President: ‘Press TV’ should be close to world oppressed people” from IRNA, while celebrating the launch of the new network Ahmadinejad had this to add:
“The message of media is the same as that of prophets.” He went on, “All efforts should be directed so that borders between “truth and false”, “selfishness and divinity”, and “loving mankind and oppressing, threatening them” could be clearly in front of world people’s eyes.” Ahmadinejad called such news dissemination as a “diligence and struggle” and said, “The TV which is born today should be beside to the world oppressed people.” The president underlined “Disseminating correct and timely news, and presenting correct analyses and disclosing behind scene of the mankind’s enemies propaganda networks are among new TV’s basic duty.”
At least it will be entertaining.
Crossposted from The American Israeli Patriot.