Hadi Mirror

I am an Iranian journalist and blogger, studied Sociology, with interests and experiences in New Media and citizen journalism. I cover Iran on Global Voices here: http://globalvoicesonline.org/author/hadi-nili. I'm on twitter @ HadiMirror.

Thursday, November 13, 2008

Correction on Fox News

I noticed that Fox News made a big mistake in describing the reason for shut down of a weekly magazine in Iran, “after featuring President-elect Barack Obama on its front cover and asking the question, Why doesn't Iran have an Obama?"

But the fact is that the weekly magazine, Shahrvand-e Emrooz, was not shut down for its speculations about the "Iranian Obama", as Fox News suggests.

Indeed, The magazine had already been closed down by the authorities before Obama won the elections. The administration of Shahrvand-e Emrooz, however, enjoyed the Iranian slow bureaucracy which let them publish another issue before the verdict was submitted to their office.

The commentary, which is referred to by Fox News and other sources, was in fact written by the editor-in-chief of the weekly as a reaction to the shut-down of the magazine. The regarding sentence reads "Why don't we have the Iranian Obama? Why does the Iranian government make the friends to be foes, instead of making the foes to be friends?!"

But, to mention the accurate justification for closing down the weekly, the Press Supervisory Board has announced the verdict to be based on what they mention as "the license mandated the weekly to address social and cultural issues whereas the publication in fact had contained political commentaries".

In addition, the editor-in-chief of what many consider to be "Iran's Time Magazine", Mohammad Ghouchani, has opposed the verdict, which is still to be approved by higher courts. Ghouchani still hopes to negotiate with the officials for the reconsideration on the verdict.

There were lots of criticizes even by conservatives. Even the Parliament Spokesman, Ali Larijani, who is a close political figure to the Iranian Supreme Leader, has criticized the weekly's shut-down.

Some other Iranian MPs have questioned and summoned the Minister of Culture and Islamic Guidance of Iran specifically for the event as well. In the Iranian constitution questioning a minister in the Parliament can potentially result in an impeachment.

Based on the political reactions to the shut-down of Shahrvand-e Emrooz, its staff are still very hopeful to be able to revive their weekly from the ban.

[Great thanks to The Archer for smoothing my English.]

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