Teaching Comparative Government and Politics

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

A chink in the great wall of Iran

Kathy Green, who teaches at Benilde-St. Margaret's in St. Louis Park, Minnesota, pointed me toward this article. I'd seen the headline, but hadn't expected the political content.

How would the countries your students are studying respond to a BBC satellite channel being beamed into their citizens' homes?

BBC launches Persian TV channel

"The BBC's newest satellite TV channel has gone on air, a Farsi language service for viewers mainly in Iran, Afghanistan and Tajikistan...

"Iranian officials have branded the channel a "security threat" and say they will take "necessary" steps...

"As part of the BBC World Service, the new channel is funded by the UK Foreign Office at an annual cost of £15m ($22m) but it is editorially independent of the government.

"The head of BBC World Service, Nigel Chapman said it was important to provide TV in Farsi because of the numbers of people accessing news and information through television. He called them 'a very important audience... who trust the BBC, who value it'...

"[T]he authorities have warned citizens not to get involved with the new TV channel, and the BBC has advised viewers not to risk getting themselves into trouble in order to take part in phone-ins and other interactive broadcasts."

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