The Iranian government has opened a criminal investigation into 152 current and former BBC Persian journalists on charges of “conspiracy against national security”.
Where is the total outrage from the BBC, from Labour, from all those ‘inside the Tory party against Boris’ [Sarah Montague not mentioning they are pro-EU Tories] about these 152 BBC employees? There came none. Only one ex-BBC employee gets their interest…one whom they think can be exploited to topple Boris…and now Gove. Funny that.
The BBC tells us that Nazanin Zaghari-Ratcliffe was merely a small, insignificant admin cog in its Media Action machine…..who can doubt that?
The BBC makes no mention of these charges in any of its news bulletins or programmes.
“IT’S THE PICTURES, STUPID.”
Iran’s Reign of Terror can seem a long way away. And sometimes not. There are plenty of Iranians here. They’ll all talk. But nobody wants to go on the record. The fear is manifest. BBC Persian TV and Voice of America carry regular reports of rape, torture and murder against opponents of the regime. Neda was just the start.
So, what happened to change everything?
“It’s the pictures, stupid. The impact of TV news lies in the pictures. Doesn’t matter if it’s Iran, or wherever. Same story.”
Here’s what Media Action tells you about its role in a recruitment advert, here for an accountant….
BBC Media Action is the BBC’s international development charity, which uses media and communications to help reduce poverty and support people to understand their rights. We do this through partnering with civil society, media and others to produce creative programmes and other outputs which inform and engage audiences on key development issues. We also strengthen the media sector through building professional capacity and infrastructure. We focus on health, governance and rights, and resilience and humanitarian response.
Sounds rather innocuous but those fine sounding words conceal a somewhat more dangerous objective….to subvert and undermine regimes that don’t match the liberal, democratic standards that the BBC and others want them to by broadcasting into countries such as Iran information the regimes don’t want the population to have…and of course doing this by using Iranian exile journalists.
Here’s an ex-BBC senior journalist telling you how effective the BBC was at encouraging revolt and uprising especially in 2009….the time when Nazanin Zaghari-Ratcliffe was supposedly involved with BBC Media Action…
The Power of TV News: An Insider’s Perspective on the Launch of BBC Persian TV in the Year of the Iranian Uprising
We were in Tehran to help prepare the launch of a new BBC Persian TV channel. Naturally enough Mr. Kallur said “no,” without actually ever saying “no” to our newsgathering presence in Tehran. All very Iranian.
“Well, of course you’re from MI6. You’re a spy.” … “Pass the pomegranate juice, please.”
The accusation was made to the director of the BBC’s World Service, Nigel Chapman. He and I and the BBC’s senior Persian analyst, Sadegh Saba, were sitting in the headquarters of the Iranian President, Mahmud Ahmadinejad. His head of communications and senior advisor, Mehdi Kallur, didn’t beat about the bush.
“The West has meddled for decades. We just don’t trust what you’re up to.”
And yet, there were signs of hope. A sea of satellite TV dishes dotted the rooftops. And in nearly every home I went into family and friends were watching the U.S. Voice of America TV, avidly. The chest‐beating chanting of “Death to America,” I also discovered, was nonsense — a carefully choreographed clique drummed up for special occasions. Virtually every Iranian I spoke to really liked America — even loved it. They might not trust it, but they love the culture: California, coast and cars, and what they see in the movies.
On the face of it, though, as Brits, and therefore junior players in this saga, the BBC was seemingly up the Persian Gulf without a paddle. It was the end of 2007. No staff, no reporters in Tehran, and seemingly no audience.
Roll forward 18 months to the uprising of June 2009. “I went to bed in one country, and woke up in another.” The memorable words of (UK) Channel 4 News reporter, Lindsey Hillsum. Hundreds of thousands were out on the streets in Tehran and cities across Iran, disputing the “stolen election.” Joe Klein, reporting the Iranian election in Tehran for Time magazine and CNN, describes it like this: “Anarchy, total chaos, and everyone watching the BBC.”
“The shooting of Neda Soltan and the killings and beatings that followed changed everything” according to Karim Sadjadpour at the Carnegie Endowment for Peace. “Those picutres were seen by everyone in Iran, mostly on the BBC,, but also on Voice of America or CNN. And make no mistake, the very existence of BBC TV was a critical factor.”
Read the full article here.
You can judge the BBC’s interest in Iran from this site…even though the BBC is banned in Iran it still seeks to influence events there with its broadcasting….you can see the various strategies used by the media to influence politics in Iran and other countries…..and how effective it is….
Robert Faris told participants that new media played a significant role, and international broadcasting services played a more important role. New media tools offer faster information access, but lack accuracy and credibility of traditional forms of media. Censorship is a challenge to use of social media tools, but due to the decentralised nature of tools such as Twitter and mobile phone short message service (SMS), they present challenges to government controls and they can reduce costs and increase efficiency for social movements. In Iran, they united a movement and disseminated information both inside and outside the country.
“Before the advent of Arab satellite television, the idea that media might drive public opinion in a direction other than that dictated by government was essentially unthinkable, much less that media would have an agenda-setting effect independent from that of those in power.” The author describes a “seminal moment for the media” when a cellphone video of police abuse of power drew intense media interest and brought about the conviction of policemen. With the advent of satellite television and the broadcast of the channel Al-Jazeera, governments temporarily lost control of the broadcast media. Electronic media then took a role in opinion formation.”
International Development Secretary Andrew Mitchell called the media “one of our most powerful tools”: “We want to give people knowledge and a voice.”
BBC Media Action may have laudable chairtable aims by ensuring important information on issues such as health are disseminated to those who need it to improve their lives but there is a more political side to Media Action’s work….the BBC is not admitting this in its attacks on Boris and Gove, the BBC is at the centre of this political drama but erases its own presence at every turn not admitting it has a large role in it, blaming Boris and Gove when it should be taking the blame itself.