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Cultural policies of Islamic Republic of Iran in the press arena


Approved at the 480th meeting of the Supreme Council of Cultural Revolution, on 7/3/2001


The press in our country as one of the cultural tools is considered as the defender & promoter of values of the Islamic- Iranian culture.

Undoubtedly, promotion of general information is possible by correct use of the press.

The free activity of the press within the framework of the constitution of the Islamic Republic of Iran is constructive & gives orientation to public thoughts. The principle of the freedom of the press & its limits & conditions has been reflected in the article 24 of the constitution. For this very reason, analyzing concepts used in this article & explaining its basis in order to explain basics of cultural policies of the Islamic Republic in the field of press is necessary. Under the article 24 of the constitution, “periodicals & press are free to express ideas unless they disrupt basics of Islam and/or public rights”. Therefore, in the article 24 of the constitution, the principle of “the freedom of the press” & its limitations as the exceptions of this principle, should be paid attention to. An important part of the current law of the press is designated to the explanation & mentioning limitations, interpretations & exact meaning of the article 24 of the constitution.

One of the main & principle policies of the Islamic Republic system is promotion of qualitative & quantitative levels of the press in order to assist the growth & reform of the public culture.

For materializing this point & paving the genuine grounds for realization of cultural policies of the Islamic Republic in the field of the press, the following points should be considered;

A- Reconstructing , reviving ,equipping & developing the capacity of the press & making use of new technology of mass media and keeping technical & instrumental capabilities of the media upto- date.

B- Making attempts to improve the quality & quantity of the press & preparing conditions desired for qualitative & qualitative improvement of the press in order to get access to the desirable & comprehensive methods of disseminating news, topics & different logical ideas by observing independence & freedom within the framework of laws.

C- Establishing & strengthening educational & higher education centers and training personnel necessary for qualitative & quantitative promotion of the press.

D- Expanding cultural , news & press exchanges with regional & international organization as well as establishing & strengthening press representatives abroad in order to utilize domestic & foreign experiences & researchers in the arena of news & propagation activities.

E- Carrying out scientific researchers about the press & assessing the amount of effect of their activities in public thoughts.

F- Strengthening guild organizations of the press in order to expand activities of the press qualitatively & qualitatively.

By considering the about –mentioned points & by relying on the constitution, the press law, responsibilities & duties of the relevant organizations & order cultural laws & regulations, the principles of cultural policies of the Islamic Republic in the field of the press include the following elements & components.

These principles represent a kind of official agreement & consensus of authorities & people- incharge in recognition, determination & preparation of the most important cultural principles that are guides & instructions for cultural managers include following element & components ;

1- In the cultural policies of the Islamic Republic in the field of the press, “the basics of Islam” refers to the necessities of the religion in believes, morality, order & rituals of the religion.

2- “Disrupting the basics of Islam” refers to an action, or work that penetrates in & shakes the practical commitment or belief of the society in the in the necessities of Islam and/ or causes the aspersion of Islam, religious necessities rituals & sacred things. “Disrupting public rights” refers to trampling rights of people (personal & collective), prominent figures & the government & violating these rights.

3- The public rights intended in the cultural policy of the media & press refers to all the necessary rights for the individual , society & government in various personal & social relationship that have been accepted in Islam & the constitution . These rights include private rights governing the relationship of people & prominent figures & public rights in the domain of relationship between people & the government. The generality of the Islamic system, & freedoms stipulated in the constitution, social order, security, moral issues, and prestige of real & legal identities are obvious evidences of the public rights.

4- In the cultural policy of the press, if scientific review, logical discussion, posing questions about religious issues and revision & analyzing the performance of the government do not brings about undermining of religious believes, disruption of acting based on the Islamic order & violation of the public rights , they will be excluded from the category of disruption. Disruption is not an intended title. If it is proved that the spiritual element of the crime, i.e., intention, has not been materialized, this point will be effective in pardoning or commuting offenders.

5- The following cases do not fall into the category of disruption:

5-1 Honest, timely, & correct informing in order to reflect ideas, constructive criticisms, suggestions & explanations made by people & officials, presenting problems & expressing deficiencies for finding their roots, getting more precise knowledge about problems, & achieving constructive & suitable solution for the improvement of the country while observing the Islamic principle, interests of the society & the constitution.

5-2 Quoting thoughts ,speeches ,& practical & intellectual positions of people who oppose the Revolution & system of the Islamic Republic of Iran in order to study their ideas scientifically & rejecting their thoughts in a way that it does not undermine the governing system.

5-3 Disseminating the culture of review & constitutive criticism while avoiding insults, degradation & defaming individuals.

5-4 Review & rejecting wrong & deviating customs & traditions.

5-5 Publishing scientific, research, reasoning and other articles about atheistic thoughts & schools in the specialized periodicals that lack any promotional & propagation stance.

5-6 Publishing articles & pictures in moral, artistic, sports, scientific & specialized fields while being far way from provocation & meanness in order to create move knowledge & develop the insight of the audience in a way that natural context of the article do not contrast the public .

5-7 Publishing pictures, satires, designs, caricatures that do not content insulating, slandering & dishonoring real identities & is done with the intention of constructive criticism & reforming affairs.

The abovementioned policies consisting an introduction, 12 articles were approved by the SCCR at 478th & 480th meanings dated on May 8,2001 & July 3,2001 respectively.

Source Information: Supreme Council of Cultural Revolution of Iran. 2001. Cultural policies of Islamic Republic of Iran in the press arena. http://www.iranculture.org/en/provs/view.php?id=82 (Accessed September 16, 2009)

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