Friday, May 07, 2010

Why I appreciate Press TV?

Kourosh Ziabari - Turkish Weekly Journal: Following the eruption of turmoil in Iran which lasted for several weeks after the reelection of incumbent President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad in the June 12 presidential elections, Press TV, a 24-hour English-language TV network run by Iran’s state broadcaster IRIB, came under the fire of harsh criticism by British media outlets, including The Guardian, the Daily Telegraph and The Times of London because of what they considered to be a “violation of neutrality” by the network.
This seemed to be simply a retaliatory act against Iranian statesmen’s explicit condemnation of the UK’s BBC, which they alleged provoked riot and insurgence in a turbulent Tehran.
Over the past two years and since it was launched in 2007, I’ve been a regular follower of both Press TV’s website and TV channel. Primarily, I admire the efforts of this Iranian news network, which has strived to function as the “podium of justice” and “voice of the voiceless”. Those who are familiar with the media atmosphere in Iran unanimously admit that Press TV is the most professional and unbiased outlet, at least among the state-funded media.

However, the tradition of calling Press TV a state-run or state-funded agency is a propagandistic technique which the western mainstream media have adopted collectively. Whenever citing something from Press TV, American and British mainstream media state the fact that the network is funded by Iranian government simply in order to cast doubt on the veracity and legitimacy of the source they’re citing. This is the fallacy of “ad hominem circumstantial”.

To illustrate, France 24 can be accurately called the French tantamount of Iran’s Press TV; it’s funded by the state with an initial budget of €100m and conventionally follows the theoretical line of French government. Nevertheless, a Google search for the term “state-funded France 24” returns just 253 results while “state-funded Press TV” returns 11,600 pages, an indication of the familiar exercise of double standards by the corporate media who rule hearts and minds.


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