Third gathering of officials of Ministry of Culture and Islamic Guidance and foreign Media correspondents residing in Iran
In a meeting organized by the Foreign Media Department of Ministry of Culture and Islamic Guidance on February 7, 2011 and attended by the minister and other high ranking officials of the ministry and large number of the representatives of foreign media residing in Tehran and provincial cities, Mr. Mohammad Houseini reflected on his ideas as well as the plans and solutions to achieve the future objectives of his ministry.
The gathering also attended by the deputy Minister for Press and Information as well as Director General of Foreign Media Department, took palace in the Conference Center of Islamic Republic of Iran Broadcasting(IRIB).
In addition to speeches delivered by the Minister and the Director General of the Foreign Media Department as the host of the seminar, two foreign corresponds from ZDF and Dubai Television also addressed the gathering on behalf of their colleagues and pointed out some shortcomings they face from time to time.
Mohammad Houseini, Minister of Culture and Islamic Guidance referring to lack of proper knowledge of Iran among vast majority of people of the world said the representatives of foreign media in Iran should reflect the realities of Iranian society to international community.
The western world takes some measure against us with the assumption that they are harmful to us. He urged the west to stop bullying and machinations to deprive Iran from its rights. Despite placing embargos against us Iran has become self-sufficient in petrol production and government is implementing the economic reform and adjusting of subsidies very well through cooperation by the nation.
Referring to the ongoing developments in Egypt, the Iranian Culture Minister said the reason behind the uprising of Egyptians is that the country has been under oppression for many years and their ruler were collaborating with the Zionist regime.
He went on saying that media play an important role in taking the world towards peace, security and tranquility.
He urged the foreign reporters working in Iran to accompany the president and his entourage in their provincial visits. Referring to the 2009 plot hatched by west in the country and the tendency of some people toward the west, the minister said the Iranian people are the true owner of the Islamic Revolution and the System and protect them.
The Director General of the Foreign Media Department, speaking in the same gathering said the Middle Eastern people have inspired by the independent sovereignty of the Islamic Republic of Iran in their uprisings adding that the word has come to this conclusion that Iran is stronger than ever before.
Mohammad Javad Agajari said the epic of December 30 and February 11 of last year brought stronger unity for the country and dismay and disappointment of the west.
He added that professional and humanitarian ethic in world of media requires that news outlets to give impartial, fair and balanced coverage and refrain from spreading rumors and lies.
The Director General of the Foreign Media Department said 124 news bureaus from 28 countries are working in Tehran and provincial cities and within the past 14 months 837 journalists from 73 countries have come to Iran. Some 254 people working for 124 news bureaus are covering the events in Iran.
While reminding that most of the coverage provided by the foreign news bureaus in Iran is political in nature, Agajeri urged the foreign reporters to also reflect other aspects of Iran such as cultural and economic topic.
Deputy Culture Minister for Press and Information, speaking in the gathering said an international peace and justice award should be set up to acknowledge the work of those media working on the basis of journalistic ethic and justice.
Mohammad Jaafar Mohammad Zadeh said the media should overcome the world of power and wealth and instead of resorting to power should uphold the logic and instead of animosity should promote friendship.
Correspondent and head of bureau of Dubai T V in Tehran, Ali Montazeri was one the three representatives of foreign media in Iran who talked about the recent developments in the region specially the uprising of Egyptian people. He made a comparison between the potentials of the news media by the time of the Islamic Revolution in Iran and the current developments in Egypt.
He then talked about the negative role played by the American, European and some Arab media in reflecting the events taking place in Egypt.
Correspondent and head of the bureau of Xinhua News Agency in Tehran, Mr. Guang Hai He was the next foreign journalist who took to the podium.
The Chinese journalist gave a brief account on the history of Xinhua News Agency and its development and stressed that the Chinese official news agency always tries to provide factual accounts of the news events and refrains from any distortion in reflecting the news.
He also thanked the Foreign Media Department of the Ministry of Culture and Islamic Guidance for providing required helps and timely information.
Key notes of a foreign journalist (Halim Hosny) in the Islamic Republic Iran
My name is Halim Hosny. A foreign correspondent of German Television ZDF I have I have the honour and privilege to work in your fascinating, thrilling and very diverse country since two and a half years. During this time I have encountered many very special people and moments. I would like thank you, Dr. Aghajari and your team of the foreign media department, who helped us a lot to fulfil our duties. Without your special help many stories would have not been told. In your speech Dr. Aghajari you asked for constructive criticism. Please allow me now to do so and let me point on two fields that I feel could be optimized. Firstly I want to mention the lack of opportunity for foreign media with office in Iran to interview the leadership of the Islamic Republic of Iran. All requests that we have so far made have either not been answered or were rejected. Foreign media without an office in Iran however get this opportunity. In recent weeks this was the case with the head head of the national security counsil, Dr. Jalili as well as the foreign Minister Dr. Salehi just to mention two. I kindly ask you to give us the same opportunity. What sense does it make to have an accreditation if we there is no equal treatment? Secondly I would like to point out one major problem we encounter regularly in our daily work. Any story that we want to cover needs a written permission from Ershad. Generally there is no problem to get it. Sometimes they are being issued within just a few days, sometimes it takes a little longer. The problem we face however starts after that. I would like to give an example: a few weeks ago we travelled to Qeshm to do a story about tourism in Iran. On the island we were told that the permission form Tehran is not enough. We would need yet another written permission from the local authorities. This however took another 1 ½ days. During this time we were not even sure if we could do the story we had come for. Beside that al lot of valuable time passed that is essential in order to get the maximum for the benefit of the story. This is just one small example of many others I could mention to give you an idea of the hurdles we have to take. I kindly urge you to find a way of cooperation between Ershad and the involved authorities. There are so many interesting stories in your country that should be told in order to give our viewers in Germany a better insight into this fascinating, multicultural and colourful society. I can assure you that this will not be to your disadvantage. Thank you again for giving me this opportunity to address these words to the esteemed guests.