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Page last updated at 11:55 GMT, Monday, 19 January 2009

Bloggers welcome BBC Persian TV

BBC Persian TV
BBC Persian TV broadcasts for eight hours a day, seven days a week

The launch of BBC Persian TV has been the subject of much comment by Iranian bloggers. Most welcomed the new satellite TV channel and predicted that it would attract a large audience inside Iran and in other mainly Persian-speaking countries.

Akhtar Qasemi, an Iranian in Germany (akhtarghasemi.blogfa.com)

I'm happy that I have witnessed a new development in Persian-language media… The British, who became a global power thanks to our oil, should have spent this budget on Iranians much earlier than this and not after 30 years.

I hope that this move will be a step towards strengthening democracy and media freedom in Iran and other Persian-speaking countries… Even though I think that it is very unlikely that BBC Persian [TV] will follow an independent line from the BBC, we should think of this [launch] as a good omen… Even if they launch a new television channel for Iranians every day, 100 years will not be enough time for the British to pay back the Iranians for the wealth and riches they have given them [the British].

Regardless of all this, the presence of BBC Persian [TV] can play a big role in creating competition amongst Persian-language media and create progress and growth.

Comment on Iran Farda weblog (iran-times.blogspot.com)

The expectation is that due to the credibility of its radio and website, this [Persian] television network will be able to find a suitable audience amongst Persian-speakers inside and outside Persian-speaking countries.

The Islamic Republic is concerned that in the absence of a credible media outlet inside or outside Iran which can clearly reflect its stances, BBC Persian TV will turn into the Iranians' main news source during various political and social crises.

In the absence of credible media, the BBC can attract a wide spectrum of viewers with its [Persian] television.

Comment on weblog 'Modakhele' (modakhele.wordpress.com)

I would like to say that after listening to all the garbage broadcast by Iranian-American television networks, this BBC team may be able to at least demonstrate what good programmes Iranians can produce if they are given the freedom to operate.

Many of our country's officials are worried because the BBC acts more openly than our [TV] networks at home. In their comments about the BBC, many of these officials say that this network broadcasts biased news. But I have to ask which [TV] network in the world is not biased? There is no such thing as a non-biased news network.

Our officials are displeased because the line which the BBC follows when broadcasting news contradicts the line they follow. But to be fair, from among all Persian-language news networks, BBC Persian [TV] is the only network which will be able to at least show what Iranians are capable of.

Afghan blogger Vahid Peyman (heratpress.com)

BBC Persian radio programmes and website used to cover Afghanistan, Iran, and Tajikistan. However, recently this media has dropped Tajikistan from its Persian section. This has resulted in people thinking that Tajikistan is not a Persian-speaking country.

Up until now I haven't been able to find a specific reason behind this action by the BBC, which is one of the trusted and seasoned media amongst Persian-speakers.

As a result, I would like to ask people in the three main Persian-speaking countries to protest to this action by the BBC and call upon it to either give a convincing reason as to why it has done such a thing or add Tajikistan to the BBC's Persian radio, TV and website services.

Blogger identified as Negarak (negarak.sbg.ir)

Finally, the BBC's Persian-language television channel was launched. On the first day of its launch it showed how professional and appealing it is. Without a doubt, we have to accept that it is ahead of its main rival, the Voice of America's Persian television network.

On the first day of its launch it showed how professional and appealing it is

As a result, we will take this powerful presence as a good omen. I hope that this professional and powerful presence by the BBC causes other Persian-language media to come to their senses and improve the quality of their programmes in order to attract a larger audience.

I am sure that the news networks inside the country will learn from this modern method and will do their best to improve the quality of their presenters' work and their news dissemination methods.

Mohammad Moi'ni (mmoeeni.blogspot.com)

I believe that BBC Persian TV made an explosive start! The appealing variety of programmes, the praise-worthy professionalism of its presenters and anchormen, the studio's lively atmosphere and the lack of long and tiresome analyses all demonstrate the fact that a different Persian-language news network has been launched…

Blogger identified as Arash (arash57.blogfa.com)

The quality of BBC Persian TV's programmes was excellent and beyond my expectations. I am sure that soon it will gain a special standing in Iran. It is run very professionally and proficiently… It is much more proficient than the VOA.

The reason behind this is pretty obvious. The VOA is smaller than the BBC and it is not allowed to be broadcast inside the US.

The BBC Persian [TV] should not forget one thing though. If it decides to insult the Iranian people's intelligence and does not cover the realities in Iran and maintain its relationship with the Iranian government it will be faced with a people who will switch over to the VOA channel and not come back.

Fariborz Qaderi (dawtalab2.blogfa.com)

It is not a coincidence that this news network was launched at this specific time in which people may be after more realistic news regarding world developments, especially the Gaza issue.

Protests by various news networks [in Iran] and their criticism of the launch of this network all publicised this newly-founded network and attracted the attention of the Iranian people.

In fact this network was clever enough to leave the promotion of this network up to Iranian networks with the least cost and most effect.

Behzad Afshari (behzadafshari.blogfa.com)
Instead of trying to adopt a defensive policy [toward BBC Persian TV], the Iranian government should think about adopting an aggressive policy.

In order to implement this aggressive policy, the BBC Persian [TV] and other similar networks should be first issued with permits to work in Iran. Then by strengthening domestic media networks, they should be stopped from carrying out their destructive media projects.

Iran's domestic and international media will not be strengthened unless they are faced with heavy competition… What I am trying to say is that Islamic Republic officials have to understand the developments taking place in the global media industry and adopt methods which will help it to interact and come to terms with these developments.

Refusing to issue a permit may have worked 20 or 30 years ago. But it won't work today…

Amir Farahani (webkhaneh.com)

We have to confess that at first glance one can realise how professional this channel is. Everything from the news studio, the way in which the presenters presented their programmes and adherence to neutrality whilst giving news and all resemble the BBC.

Maybe it's too early to draw such a conclusion but I believe that the BBC will rank first among Persian-language channels

Maybe it's too early to draw such a conclusion but I believe that the BBC will rank first among Persian-language channels. It will motivate Iranian officials to come to their senses a little and start spending the huge budget they have on producing better TV programmes inside the country rather than on networks such as Press TV and al-Alam which spread lies.

I hope that this happens and the previous destructive policies of censorship are not pursued.

Zari Esfahani (zariyaddastha.blogspot.com)

With all its very sophisticated technical facilities, the BBC Persian TV finally entered Iran's media arena. It is a channel which can be said is years ahead of the Islamic Republic's Voice and Vision [the Islamic Republic of Iran Broadcasting].

It will be a thorn in the side of the Islamic Republic. We can't expect the BBC to play the role of the opposition.

The best it can do is that it can act as a mouthpiece for some of the reformists. In the absence of good Persian-language media, the BBC Persian TV can play an effective role in creating a democratic environment.

Iranian journalist based in the US (hajiwashington.com)

The least impact which the launch of BBC Persian TV will have on Iranian journalism is that it will motivate the Iranian Voice and Vision to improve its political programmes and news… Of course, it will have other auspicious impacts as well.

Ali Reza (1alireza.com)

The absence of a [Persian-language] media outlet [outside Iran] which can disseminate news professionally can be felt. For the past few days I've been thinking about why the BBC can't fulfil this role.

The British know exactly when to do something. The BBC Persian TV has been launched at a time that the Iranian people are tired of the Los Angeles-based [Persian-language] TV channels, the Iranian Voice and Vision, and the VOA. Have no doubt that BBC Persian TV will have a bigger impact than one can expect.


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