Press TV is a 24×7 bi-lingual news service – based in Iran – broadcasting in English and French languages. Owned by IRIB: Islamic Republic of Iran Broadcasting, the headquarters of the channel are located in Tehran with bureaus in different cities across the country. It also maintains international bureaus in different parts of the world. News and documentary programs broadcasted by Press intend to target the overseas market as a very small number of native Iranians speak English. News Anew and The Voice of the Voiceless are the catchphrases of Press TV. Al-Alam News Network and HispanTV are the sister stations of the conservative-speech carrier. It in its news operations and scope is akin to that of BBC World News, RT, France 24, DD India, DW, WION, CGTN and others.
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The maiden Iranian English language news service was founded in 1976 followed by Sahar TV, a multi-language service launched in 1997 and aimed at overseas audiences. Press TV first signed on air on July 8, 2007 to serve overseas market saturated with the well-established competitors like BBC, Al Jazeera International, Sky News Arabia, BBC Persian, CNN, RT and others. Press remains in the international media scene as a harsh critic of Western policies, their ideologues and particularly pro-Zionist lobbies. Press TV CEO in a press conference in June 2007 remarked: “Since September 11, Western bias has divided the media into two camps: those that favor their policies make up one group and the rest of the media are attached to radical Islamic groups like Al-Qaeda. We want to show that there is a different view. Iran, and the Shi’as in particular, have become a focal point of world propaganda. From the media point of view, we are trying to give a second eye to Western audiences.”
Website and Satellite TV
The official web-portal of Press TV was launched in Jan 2007 while signal test for the launch of its satellite TV was conducted at the end of April 2007 before the official launch of the service on July 3, 2007. A new version of the official site was launched in March 2009 with an overhauled user interface. It upgraded it feed to 16:9 widescreen in Nov 2011, the first in the country and second the Middle East after Al Jazeera English to do so.
Press TV, a state-owned entity is funded by IRIB: Islamic Republic of Iran Broadcasting which directly comes under the management of Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC); The head of the channel is said to be appointed b supreme leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei and has no link with the Iranian government. The annual budget spent by the channel is over USD 8.3 million.
Controversies and Criticism
ADL: Anti-Defamation League in 2012, blamed Press TV for its anti-Semitic views and promoting a number of American ani-Semites mostly notably David Duke, other Holocaust deniers and conspiracy masters. Mixed views came from Al Jazeera journalist Mehdi Hasan while Nick Cohen termed the channel as fascist and ani-Jew. Linda Pressly, a BBC journalist sees the channel as promoter of Palestinian cause and condemned the sanctions against the Islamic Republic. In Nick Ferrari view, the station seemed to be reasonably fair before 2009 election but is no longer a credible service.
BLM, a Munich based media regulator removed Press TV from SES Astra Satellite. The channel contested the decision in German court which gave verdict in favor of the channel and observed that ban was illegal. However, the administrative court’s June 15, 2012 decision was overturned by the High Administrative court of Bavaria and allowed regulator to shut the availability of the service on Astra 19.2E. AsiaSat in Nov 2012, removed the service from its satellite in East Asia. Intelsat and Eutelsat followed the suite in Oct 2012 and imposed ban on a number of Iranian Satellite stations. More satellites in Europe and American pulled it off the airs in July 2013.
The attempt to declare Press TV, Al-Alam News Network and a couple others a terrorist entity by United States House of Representatives was made by Florida congressman Gus Bilirakis in June 2008 to counter the slogan Death to America! Often chanted by the masters in Tehran.
The arrest and alleged torture of Newsweek-affiliated journalist Maziar Bahari in 2009 was another controversy linked with the service as it aired a 10 second interview of the Newsweek contributor. Such was the offence committed by Press TV that Ofcom: Office of Communications on Jan 20, 2012 cancelled the broadcasting license of Press TV. The decision was later condemned by Geoffrey Alderman who occasionally appeared on the service as a contributor. Press TV was available in London since 2007. Roshan Muhammed Salih was first news editor and chief correspondent at the station’s London bureau.
Sheena Shirani who worked as a newsreader at the station, unable to withstand the sexual harassment by Hamid Reza Emadi, her boss at Press TV, fled Iran with her young son. The event made news in and outside Iran when the screengrabs of WhatsApp texts by Emadi and audio files containing alleged sexual abuse surfaced on mainstream and social media.
Programming and Personalities
Round the clock English news channel broadcast half-hourly news bulletins, round-table discussions supported by a panel, commentary programs and documentary films. News operations were increased and analysis programs were truncated in May 2009. Through its programs, the channel maintaining a chain of overseas bureaus vows to give World the Iranian and Shiite perspective while building cultural bridges and exchanging information in the globalized society.
On the official website of Press TV you can watch and read the latest news from Middle East, Asia-Pacific, Africa, Americas, Europe, Iran, United States, United Kingdom and other parts of the world. Interviews, repeats of shows, documentaries, sports updates, business news, arts and cultural programs are also wired.
Popular personaliites linked with the channel include Geoffrey Alderman, George Galloway, Mehdi Hassan, Jeremy Corbyn, Derek Conway and Lembit Öpik,.
More info about the channel can be have on the official site: www.presstv.com
- Iran Today
- Economic Divide
- On The News Line
- The Isle
- We The People
- Press Plus
- A Simple Question
- Africa Today
- The Sun Will Rise
- The Big Conversation
- Islam and Life
- Food For Thought
- Face to Face
- The Debate
- Doc Review
- Doubling Down
- New Chapter
- Middle East Papers
- Press Release
- The Secret
- Inside Israel
- Iran Cinema
- Media Stream
- Iran Art Magazine
Telephone: +98 21 230 11 730
Fax: +98 21 230 11 739