Tuesday, October 06, 2009

Iran's Media Profile

A Short Review on Iran’s Media Profile

Assignment Kinnvall
Omid Habibinia

Media Researcher, Lund University, Sweden

Assignment KinnvallModern communication has a history about 150 years in Iran, but form the early beginning all media facing censorship, dictatorship and suppression.

Here we could take a quick look at the general situation of communication profile, hoping it makes more clearly some facts about Iran.


Publishing the newspaper and journals as the first modern media about 177 happened by the government.

Since that date till now thousands of newspapers and magazines has published in Iran, but only governmental related newspapers could continue to publish.

The oldest newspapers in Iran is Etelaat which has 83 years and managed by the leader representative.

Total number of national newspapers: 64
Circulate of national newspapers: 1.800.000 per day (estimated)
Local newspapers: 111
Circulate of local newspapers: 300.000 per day (estimated)
Magazines: 3328
Circulate of magazines: 950.000 per month (estimated)
Ratio a newspaper for an Iranian over 17 years: one to 17.


Radio Tehran, The first radio station has began in May 1940 since that time till now only governmental radios are allowed broadcasting in Iran.

Radio channels: 13
(Iran, Tehran,Tejarat, Alborz, Sedai Ashna, Farhang, Quran, Javan, Payam, Salamat, Goftego, Varzesh.

Local Radio: 30

Iran’s national TV has began since march 1967, before it, Irans first and last private TV broadcasting its program for Tehran and some major cities for a few years but due to the government pressure forced to stop and replaced with National Radio and TV.

National channels: seven ( Khabar, Amozesh and Quran)

State TV: 20

International TV channels: six (Jame Jam 1,2, PressTV, Khabar, Alalam and Sahar)


The first Iranian movie had screened in the second of January 1931 by Evanes Oganisians.

Film industry from the beginning pressured by harsh censorship by the government, but after establishing Islamic Republic the censorship wasted in many dimensions and gets structured.

All process of film making from pre- production to post production and screening are under governments control and should confirmed by authorities.

However every year some of products movies are not able to get screen license although all screen and production facilities are owned or regulated by the government.

Average of Iranian movies screening per year: 55
Movies shown in last year: 56

Movie Theaters. Less than 300
Average rate of going to cinema: less than three times per year for Iranians over 12 years in major cities.


Islamic Republic besides China is the notorious country in the world for censorship in Internet, also capturing, threaten and jailing online journalists and bloggers. Now the number of banned websites in Iran is over five millions.

Rate of Influence: More than 20%
Internet Users: About 18 millions

Alternative Media

Except entertainment Radio and TV channels inside and outside Iran, in recent years number of alternative media such as blogs, underground movies, videos and music has increased.
Theses alternative media exploring hidden voices of the society facing dictatorship in Iran.

Sat TV: 49 (at least ten others are on the way)
Radio (broadcasting from outside the country): 59 radio based on governmental budgets by foreign countries and more than 500 independent radio networks, mostly broadcasting on Internet.
Blogs: about three millions Persian blog (third in the world after US and China)


About 55% of Iranians speak Persian among their families, however 45% speaking other languages other than Persian as the first language at home.

More than 70% of the population is under 33 old, these structure occurred to more dynamics and interaction in mass communications.

More than 65% of house holders in the major and medium sized cities using Satellite TV, regardless it is forbidden and based on law, it users may facing fine, confiscating the stuffs and in second time jail.

State TV viewers are about 85% and state radio listeners about 9%.

Persian radios broadcasting from outside in the normal situation, based on the state polls are about 7%.

The most visiting News Websites inside Iran are: Irna, Isna and Tabnak and from outside are: BBC Persian, Radio Farda and Balatarin.

In 90% of houses at least there is a TV set and in 97% of houses at least there is a radio.

Mobile users in Iran (who sometimes capture videos and pictures of demonstrations, protests and some news events and upload them on sharing websites) are more than 23 million with 34% influence rate.

Internet influent rate is increasing in last year, exceeding other Middle East countries and expecting next year reaches to about 30%, while gaining access Internet and speed and other service is in primary process. Some of these problems back to officials durecels to providing high speed Internet and increasing the quality in fear of using it as exchange multi/media against the regime.

Iran has a top place in publishing books and music products in the Middle East, but the average of publishing them are not matched with the rate of potential audience who are usually are youth.

The most of books publishing in Iran are religious texts which presenting by governmental publishers.

At the same underground, illegal music albums and videos has huge number of customers at underground market in the country.

Some estimated saying the amount of money in this underground market for illegal videos (mostly onscreen or even pre-screening Hollywood movies and sometimes illegal copies of pre-screening of some Iranian movies) is much more than screening movies in Iran's movies theater for the whole year.

Assignment KinnvallPlease Note This Profile was written for a Research Institute in February 2009 and some of the statics may change until now.