Iran Media Program


The Iran Media Program is a collaborative network designed to enhance the understanding of Iran’s media ecology. The program seeks to use innovative approaches to understand the flow of information in Iran. Through a network of scholars and practitioners (the Iran Media Scholars Network), the Iran Media Program aims to contribute to Iran’s civil society and the wider policy-making community by providing a more nuanced understanding of the role of media and the flow of information in Iran.

Given the demonstrated potential that new media has played in fostering expanded discussion, the Iran Media Program pays particular attention to these technologies, including websites, citizen blogs and Twitter feeds. It also studies traditional media, for example, state broadcasting, international broadcasting into Iran, and entertainment programming, and other forms of communication, such as music videos, art and poetry, that could play important information and messaging roles.

The Iran Media Program has a multifaceted approach to deepening and broadening the network of scholars and practitioners and contributing to the knowledge base about Iran’s media systems and the political and legal structures within which it operates. Some past initiatives have included:

Weekly news updates and analysis of Iran-related media articles, as well as a weekly Iranian cyberspace report. Other interactive features on the website include the Iran Media Wiki, was created by media analysts and covers major Iranian newspapers, news websites, TV and radio stations, as well as the Farsi language Iran Media Oral History.

Survey research on media consumption and production in Iran and by Iranians living outside Iran. These surveys seek to provide information on domestic, international and diasporic sources of news, news production, journalistic ethics and conceptions of the field, as well as how Iranians use new media tools such as text messaging, Bluetooth, Twitter and online social networks, and on the most important sources of information in non-mediated contexts (such as face-to-face talk, among others).

Conferences and workshops: The IMP provides opportunities for Iran media researchers to collaborate and present at various international conferences. In addition, the IMP hosts its own conferences and workshops and we are always looking for collaborators and co-sponsorship opportunities. Past events include:

  • “Cinema in Iran: Circulation, Censorship and Cultural Production.” This conference took place in Berlin, which is a hub for cultural production flows to and from Iran and a city with a large artist expat base. It will bring together scholars and practitioners to examine the ways in which Iranian civil society is represented (or absent) in film, the ways in which films are conduits for information flows, the ways in which information structures (formal and otherwise) impact distribution of films, and what role cinema plays in Iran’s media ecology
  • “From Tehran to Tahrir: Public Space Redefined” Reconceptualizing “public space” in the 21st century, this symposium draws on recent global events in order to identify potential shifts in the meaning of the term across temporal and geographic boundaries. The symposium will discuss how the use of public space for political or social purposes is contested or rendered illegitimate, and how alternatives arise.
  • “Iran: Art and Discourse.”  This symposium examines political economies of art within Iran and abroad—its production and distribution, the mechanisms of control and exchange in Iran and the US, and how ideologies and their attendant policies shape transfer know,edge and praxis from one context to another.

Upcoming conferences and opportunities include:

Project Publications and Reports


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