White Balloon

Daily Journal of Mahaan, an Iranian-American student residing in USA.

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

Media War on Iran

A lesson learned from the Iraq and Afghanistan war is that public opinion is going to be a major factor for survival of any dominant foreign power. It's now clear that Bush adminstration and generally western media did a terrible job in winning the hearts of the Iraqis and anti-US media outlets such as Aljazeera or the Iranian Al-Alam channels were the ones who influenced public opinion.
The future of engagement and competition with Iran seems to be quite complicated and already the media war is extending to various battle grounds. Iran has been quite aggressive in its media tactics. After the establishment of Al-Alam, the Islamic Republic continued extending its propaganda message in English language via the Press-TV channel. The TV channel which contracts with various reporters outside Iran, competes very well with its western equivalents such as BBC or CNN. It is an example of the flexibilities of the Iranian regime when things get into the survival point. Many of the Islamic restrictions that are present in the Iranian national TV are relaxed or totally removed in the new international channel.

From the other side, various other powers are now showing off their interest in this propaganda war with Iran. BBC is testing its Persian TV this summer and it is supposed to start its airing this fall.
The Saudi backed Al-Arabia channel has initiated a Persian news page and has announced a new Persian TV channel that will start its operation in the near future.
And last but not least, European Union is in talks about starting a new Persian TV channel.

So let's put it together: US (VOA), BBC, Saudis, and EU. Let's Wait for Russian and Chinese to make the full house!

If I want to be optimistic and not think of any military complication with Iran, one thing is clear: Iran is gonna be on the world affair agenda for a long time and all these large scale media investments which are aimed towards influencing the Iranian population means something: Everyone wants to influence Iran's public opinion. Hopefully such influence is towards changing things at polls, and not shot guns!
Weblog Trackback by HaloScan.com