Press TV (stylised as PRESSTV) is a 24-hour English- and French-language news and documentary network affiliated with Islamic Republic of Iran Broadcasting (IRIB). Press TV is headquartered in Tehran. The service is aimed at the overseas market, similar to DD India, WION, BBC World News, DW, France 24, RT, and Sputnik.
|Launched||8 July 2007|
|Owned by||Islamic Republic of Iran Broadcasting|
|Picture format||576i, 16:9 (SDTV)|
|Sister channel(s)||Al-Alam News Network|
|Jamaran||CH43 UHF Digital (SD)|
|Alvand||CH34 UHF Digital (Full HD)|
|11555 / 30000 / 2/3 V|
Africa, Middle East, Europe
|3913 / 12911 / 5/6 V |
3964 / 30000 / 3/4 R
Middle East & Africa
|12054 / 27500 3/4 V|
Middle East & Central Asia
|12303 / 27500 / 3/4 H |
11881 / 27500 5/6 H
|11823 / 27500 / 5/6 V|
Asia & Africa
|4060 / 23000 / 5/6 H|
Middle East & Asia
|11051 / 30000 / 1/2 V|
Africa, Middle East, Europe, Asia, Australia
|3574 / 6510 / 2/3 H|
Australia, New Zealand
|12519 / 22500 / 3/4 V|
Europe & Africa
|12602 / 26657 / 2/3 H|
|11605 / 11852 / 3/4 V|
|11109 / 9479 / 3/4 H|
North & Central America
|11960 / 22000 / 3/4 V|
Iran's first international English-language TV channel was established in 1976. Later in 1997, Sahar TV started its work, broadcasting in multiple languages including English. Iran's Press TV was launched in July 8, 2007 to compete with other 24-hour English-language satellite channels like the BBC World News, CNN and Al Jazeera English International.
Press TV CEO Mohammad Sarafraz said in a June 2007 press conference that, "Since September 11, Western bias has divided the media into two camps: those that favour 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."
Funding and management
Press TV is state-funded and is a division of the Islamic Republic of Iran Broadcasting (IRIB), the only legal TV and radio broadcaster inside the country. IRIB is independent of the Iranian government and its head is appointed directly by the supreme leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei; according to The Guardian, it is close to the country's conservative political faction, especially the elite Revolutionary Guards. Press TV's headquarters are located in Tehran.
As of 2009, the annual budget of Press TV is 250 Billion rials (more than US$8.3 million).
Press TV was created for the purpose of presenting news, images and arguments, especially on Middle Eastern affairs, to counter the news coverage that appears on broadcasts such those of BBC World News, CNN International and Al Jazeera English.
By launching an English-language television network to promote an Iranian perspective of the world, together with an Arab-language station, the Al-Alam News Network, the Iranian government said it hoped "to address a global audience exposed to misinformation and mudslinging as regards the Islamic Republic of Iran." The two networks focus on "difficult issues in the Middle East such as the United States’ occupation of neighbouring Iraq and the Shiite question."
In 2012, the Anti-Defamation League (ADL) issued a report alleging that Press TV has been broadcasting what the ADL says are examples of anti-Semitic conspiracy theories and opinions. The report criticizes Press TV for interviewing or providing commentary space for a number of individuals (such as David Duke) described by the report as "American anti-Semites, conspiracy theorists and Holocaust deniers, who help amplify the Iranian regime's hateful messages".
The station has been criticized for "anti-Americanism" and "uncritical embrace of conspiracy theories". For British journalist Nick Cohen the station is "a platform for the full fascist conspiracy theory of supernatural Jewish power" and for commentator Douglas Murray it is the "Iranian government’s propaganda channel". Mehdi Hasan of the New Statesman has argued that "engaging with Iran, no matter who is in charge in Tehran, is a prerequisite for peace and progress in the region. The very fact that Press TV is Iranian-owned makes it the ideal English-language platform on which to do so."
The BBC journalist Linda Pressly has described Press TV as pro-Palestinian, opposed to sanctions against Iran, and critical of Western foreign policy. Nick Ferrari, a former presenter of one of Press TV's shows, told The Times that Press TV's news coverage had been "reasonably fair" until the 2009 election—but not any longer.
Removal from Western and Asian satellites
On 3 April 2012, Munich-based media regulator Bayerische Landeszentrale für neue Medien (BLM), announced it was removing Press TV from the SES Astra satellite, as it did not have a licence to broadcast in Europe. In September 2012 the High Administrative Court of Bavaria confirmed the regulatory authority's decision.
Potential designation as a 'terrorist entity'
On June 26, 2008, the United States House of Representatives has attempted to declare Press TV, the Arabic Al-Alam News Network and several IRIB-affiliated channels as a "Specially Designated Global Terrorist entity" proposed by Florida congressman Gus Bilirakis. The proposed resolution calls the broadcast of 'incitement to violence' against Americans in Middle Eastern media while Bilirakis claimed that as Iranian state-run TV channels broadcast 'the coverage of rallies and speeches in which Iranian leaders, clerics, children, and mass audience have declared 'Death to America!' due to broadcasting incitement of violence against Americans.
Maziar Bahari and UK licence revocation
In June 2010, Channel 4, the British broadcaster, transmitted a programme featuring Maziar Bahari, a documentary maker and Newsweek contributor, who was arrested while covering the Iranian presidential election in 2009, and held in custody for 118 days. He alleged that a Press TV 10 second interview and 'confession' had been preceded by torture, and was given under the threat of execution. Bahari, now a British resident, complained to Ofcom, the regulatory authority for the telecommunication industries in the United Kingdom.
In May 2011, Ofcom ruled that Press TV was responsible for a serious breach of UK broadcasting rules by airing the 10 second interview with Maziar Bahari, accepting that it had been obtained under duress while he was held in a Tehran jail. A fine of £100,000 was eventually imposed in November 2011, reversing an initial decision to revoke Press TV's licence. Press TV responded: "The British royal family exercises an overarching power over all branches in the political system of the UK, including the government and the parliament, as well as on Ofcom." On 20 January 2012, Press TV's licence to broadcast in the UK was revoked by Ofcom. The investigation into the Bahari case had revealed the applying company's direct connection to Tehran, and that editorial control came from there. An invitation to change this in the licence had not been taken up by Press TV. The unpaid fine was not the reason why Ofcom ended Press TV's licence.
Geoffrey Alderman, the British historian and occasional Press TV contributor, attacked the Ofcom decision, and called for it to be reversed. He described the action by Ofcom as "thoroughly deplorable as well as palpably cynical". Defenders of Press TV, including Alderman and the broadcaster's legal representative, Farooq Bajwa, have referred to a formerly secret American diplomatic cable dated 4 February 2010. Later released by WikiLeaks, it says the British Government was at time "exploring ways to limit the operations of the IRIB's Press TV service". This 'exploration' was in response to the jamming by the Iranian government of broadcasts by the BBC Persian Service and the Voice of America, also mentioned in the document and mentioned by Alderman.
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... IRIB is independent of the Iranian government and its head is appointed directly by the supreme leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei. It is the only legal TV and radio broadcaster inside the country but millions of Iranians watch foreign-based channels via illegal satellite dishes on rooftops. ...
- Rouhanicare: Iran's president promises healthcare for all by 2018. World news | The Guardian.
- "بودجه پرس تیوی 25 میلیارد تومان است / میزان پخش فیلمهای ایرانی و خارجی متعادل میشود". Mehr News. Retrieved 29 December 2009.
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- "Mediachannel". Archived from the original on 8 November 2009.
- Ekhtiari, Khosro (15 September 2009). "A Guided Tour of Press TV". Gozaar. Retrieved 29 December 2009.
- Sanati, Kimia (4 July 2007). "New TV Channel to Focus on Iraq, Shia Issues". IPS. Archived from the original on 21 January 2009. Retrieved 29 December 2009.
- "Iran's Press TV: Broadcasting Anti-Semitism To English-Speaking World". Anti-Defamation League. Retrieved 13 November 2013.
- Nick Cohen "Who will rid us of hate channels such as Press TV?", The Observer, 4 December 2011
- Douglas Murray "Push off now, Press TV, and take your conspiracy theories with you", The Spectator (blog), 20 January 2012
- Mehdi Hasan "Book me a slot on Press TV", New Statesman (blog), 16 July 2009
- Linda Pressly. "Iran's battle for TV influence takes shape on Press TV". BBC News. Retrieved 15 April 2012.
- Martin Fletcher (1 July 2009). "Presenter Nick Ferrari quits Iran Press TV over bias after election". The Times. London.
- Iran slams BBC over film about Israel relations, Jerusalem Post, 7 April 2012
- "US Congressman seeks to blacklist Iran's Press TV". payvand.com.
- "Specially Designated Global Terrorist". noworldsystem.com.
- Kylie Morris and Katie Brown "Ofcom investigates Iran's Press TV over 'interview'", The Independent, 19 June 2010
- Sweney, Mark (23 May 2011). "Iran's Press TV censured for interview with arrested journalist". The Guardian. London. Retrieved 25 May 2011.
- Patrick Foster "Ofcom reverses decision to revoke licence of Iran's Press TV", The Guardian, 30 November 2011
- Mark Sweney "Iran's Press TV loses UK licence", The Guardian, 20 January 2012.
- "The Ofcom document explaining the revocation" (PDF).
- "Iran's Press TV loses UK licence", BBC News, 20 January 2012
- David Blair "Iran's Press TV loses UK licence", Daily Telegraph, 20 January 2012
- Geoffrey Alderman "Suppressing Press TV is deplorable – Ofcom should restore its licence now", The Guardian, 24 January 2012
- Linda Pressly "Iran's battle for TV influence takes shape on Press TV", The Report, BBC Radio 4, 29 December 2011
- Cable cited at "US embassy cables: Retaliation planned after Iran jammed BBC broadcasts", The Guardian (website), 5 December 2010
- Salih, Roshan Muhammed (1 December 2008). "Press TV launches on Sky". Arab Media Watch. Archived from the original on 13 December 2008. Retrieved 29 December 2009.