Friday, March 5, 2010

Journalists by name

An Iranian journalist working for the state public TV channel, Hamoud Masoumi Nejad, based in Italy for 15 years, was recently arrested in the recent case of arms and explosive smuggling.
In totalitarian states, where freedom of the media is non-existent, journalists are usually used as double agents of propaganda. Now Iran, before it was the case for the journalists working for the communist states. Your "luxury" of living and travelling outside the "prison" is paid by renouncing to the basic ethical journalistic standards, mainly to say the truth and to inform correctly the public opinion.

The media situation in Iran is worsening from a day to another, with more media outlets closed following the last year events. The most recent evaluation of the Committe to Protect Journalists outlines the case of almost 47 journalists in jail. Many others are in danger to be arrested any time. The freedom of the media means nothing for the Tehran authorities.

The consequences of this extended media crackdown are to be seen in the next future. If, one day, the media in Iran will be able to learn speaking the truth, and nothing but the truth, many of the journalists will discover how difficult it is. How hard is to be able to discern information, to tell the truth to the power and to learn again that beyond any interests should stay your desire to inform. Not to make-up the reality, according to the wishes of any power. For sure, Hamid Masoumi Nejad is not the only one fake journalist. When you are living in fear, assuming you are free is a risk. Managing your own freedom and refusing any kind of pressures - financial, political, of any other kind - is very difficult. Once you have up your principles, you are like a ship in the middle of the wind. Today, it was the "national interest", tomorrow, your desire to get more money and advantages. Noone is safe. We need simply to believe in our capacity, as journalists, to think with our own minds. But, what it is in our own minds?

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