Iran profile - media

Published
image source, Getty Images

All broadcasting from Iranian soil is controlled by the state and reflects official ideology. There is a wider range of opinions online and in the press.

Iran is one of the world's most repressive countries for journalists, says Reporters Without Borders. They are "constantly subjected to intimidation, arbitrary arrest and long jail sentences imposed by revolutionary courts at the end of unfair trials".

State-run Islamic Republic of Iran Broadcasting - IRIB - operates national and provincial services. Its international networks include English-language Press TV. The most-watched domestic network is said to be Network Three. Its output includes sport and light entertainment.

Despite a ban on using satellite equipment, foreign TVs are widely watched; this is largely tolerated by the authorities.

Dozens of Persian-language stations broadcast from the USA, Europe and Dubai.

Western broadcasters, including BBC Persian TV, target Iranian audiences. Their satellite broadcasts have suffered from deliberate interference from within Iran.

IRIB's radio channels include a parliamentary network, Radio Koran and a multilingual external service.

The press reflects a range of political viewpoints, albeit within unwritten rules or "red lines". Few Iranians buy a newspaper every day. Sport titles are the biggest sellers.

Around 70% of Iranians are online.

The web is the main forum for dissident voices. But the internet is also embraced by all parts of the social and political spectrum, including conservative and pro-establishment activists.

The authorities routinely block or filter websites they consider objectionable. Targeted content includes that deemed to be pornographic or anti-Islamic.

Iranians use virtual private networks (VPNs) and other methods to circumvent filtering.

Facebook, although blocked, is among the most popular social media platforms. Twitter is blocked for ordinary citizens, but leaders and senior officials are active on it. Instagram is a staple of social media life.

The press

image source, Jaam-e-Jam

Television

  • IRIB - state-run, operates provincial, national and international services
  • Press TV - IRIB's English-language satellite channel
  • Al-Alam - IRIB network in Arabic

Radio

  • IRIB - state-run, operates eight national networks, provincial services and an external service

News agencies