Thursday, January 24, 2008

Hopeful Signs in VOA Persian

One must not always criticise without giving credit when it is due. There has been some worthwhile improvements in VOA Persian programs recently. Most noteworthy was a very professionally managed program presented by Shahla Arasteh who had invited Gene Sharp as her guest. The program started with some good background footage in civil disobedience, appropriate questions were asked in a coherent manner by the presenter, and professionally interpreted from Persian to English and vice versa.

Also what I liked was how an IRI plant intent on causing embarrassment during the first call was quickly recognised and dealt with quickly.

Robert Tait also appeared on the News and Views program and talked about how foreign journalists are restrained in reporting news from Iran. How they must be careful not to be too critical and how they have to tread carefully not to cross the red boundaries in order to avoid getting expelled and banned from Iran.

Hopefully all this signals a re-awakening into what is relevant in today's situation than what we have seen before, i.e. irrelevant programs, airtime for IRI apologists, not checking the credentials of the guests and obvious cronyism and favouritism.

It all begs the question as to why VOA management like Sheila Ganji and Kambiz Mahmoody always claimed VOA must be an impartial news agency only and can not broadcast programs which advocate political dissent to viewers!


Winston said...

I think it's like a safety shaft to distract their critiques. And the best way to keep them on course is to keep writing to the congressman and senators from the Republican party. Congressman David Drier, Senator Coburn are good choices to begin with.

Anonymous said...

Winston's suggestion has one crucial flaw: does anyone really want a VOA that is subject to political pressures and whose managers allow politics to dictate programming? And do you want that pressure to always come from a particular political persuasion? Wouldn't that kind of a VOA be just like state radio in Iran?

And one other thing: criticize VOA if you must, but don't resort in personal attacks against people working there. There are some out there in the blogosphere who are doing this. It is mean-spirited and just plain wrong. They should be embarassed.

Azarmehr said...

Oh, so lets just leave VOA Persian unaccountable and let Sheila Ganji dictate and treat it as a personal business!

Anonymous said...


I really don't see how you don't understand the sensibility in roozbeh's statement. He makes a reasonable point, but it seems like you and your blogosphere friends like winston and the likes are extremely stubborn towards other opinions. And when you respond, you really don't respond in a convincing or powerful way; just in a way that would appeal to winston. It's discouraging.

Anyways, Roozbeh said, "criticize VOA if you must..." He didn't say lets leave VOA unaccountable and let Shiela treat it as a personal business.


Azarmehr said...

Roozbeh said "criticize VOA if you must, but don't resort in personal attacks against people working there"

Where can you give an example of me resorting to personal attacks against people working in VOA OR IN Winston's comments?

Anonymous said...

Azarmehr, look at your own posting
where at 1:17 PM, YOU said...
VOA Persian "smears the true dissidents and drains so much of their energy, just so that Sheila Ganji's cronies can profit from running their own self serving show."
And this isn't a personal smear?

Azarmehr said...

Not at all, it is an attack on her style of management. Personal attack would be if I go on about how ugly she is or probe into her personal life.