Online Course now in Farsi/Persian
Thanks to Mr. Pouria Nazemi, an Iranian science journalist now living in Montréal (Canada), the 10 lessons of the World Federation’s Online Course in Science Journalism are now available in Farsi, or Persian.
Mr. Nazemi took upon himself to translate and adapt the 10 lessons of the online course for the Iranian audience. He also enlisted the help of Iranian journalist Mr. Fariborz Bayat, Senior Editor of Hamshahri Journalism Online School, and his colleagues at the Online School, in Tehran, who helped with editing and reviewing of the translation. The online formatting was done for the World Federation by Augustin Denis.
This Farsi, or Persian, version makes the Online Course now available in 8 languages, including Arabic, Chinese, English, French, Portuguese, Spanish, and Turkish. Vietnamese and Bahasa Indonesia versions will be available soon.
We take this opportunity to introduce to you Mr. Pouria Nazemi and publish a brief overview of science journalism in Iran adapted from notes provided by Mr. Nazemi for the World Federation’s web site. It ends with a call for the development of science journalism in Iran.
Pouria Nazemi: science writer and amateur astronomer
In Iran, Mr. Nazemi started in science journalism at Nojum
(Persian Astronomy) Magazine. He then went to Jam-e-Jam, one of the best selling daily newspaper in Iran where he worked as Science Editor and Senior Science Editor until 2011. While at Jam-e-Jam
he founded a weekly science and medicine magazine (SIB).
Mr. Pouria Nazemi is an amateur astronomer. In Iran, he was a manager of the Amateur Committee of the Astronomical Society of Iran. He popularized astronomy for more than 5 years as presenter of Aseman-e-Shab
(Sky at Night), a TV show on Iranian State Television Channel 4. He has made many public presentations on science and technology and frequently appeared on TV and radio shows in Iran. He also translated a few general science and journalism books into Farsi.
Since 2011, Mr. Nazemi lives in Montreal, Canada, freelancing for media in Iran and Canada. He recently produced and hosted a videocast about Astronomy and Space in Farsi, http://tinyurl.com/maka3ng
, and his website is http://pourianazemi.com/
Science Journalism in and for Iran
by Pouria Nazemi
The history of science journalism in Iran goes back to the dawn of news media in the country. Even in the very first newspaper published in Iran you could find some news and articles about science. Most of them were imprecise translations from unknown sources. But sometimes you could find original stories. Appearances of comets, crashes of meteorites, or the occasional eclipse were the more common stories. Once during the Venus Transit, in 1874, a group of European astronomers traveled to Iran to take photos. The Dolat-e-Eliye-Iran
which was the state newspaper published detailed coverage of this astronomical event and the related trip.
Newspapers also published regular reports about the first groups of Iranian students who were sent to Europe with government scholarships to learn about modern science and bring it back to Iran.
That was the period during which modern organizations started to appear in Iran. These changes helped to shape an atmosphere which eventually led, after a few years, to the victory of Iranian Constitutional Revolution, in 1907.
Since then the Iranian press has experienced several springs and falls. Only on a few occasions did newspapers and media found themselves in a relatively free atmosphere. Most of the time, they were struggling with limitations and boundaries.
In 1978, another revolution happened in Iran and the First Republic (Islamic version) was established. But even before the basis of the new system could be put in place, war came.
8 years of devastating war with Iraq put Iran in very hard atmosphere. But surprisingly the science media and science press were experiencing the great reception by people.
(Stuffs to know) and Daneshmand
( The Scientist) were 2 popular science magazine which had great circulations back then. Many new science magazines aimed at the public were launched in many different specific areas such as astronomy, space, technology, computer, electronics and automobiles.
Very soon mainstream media started to show more interest in science and technology. State TV and Radio produced more science shows and IRIB
4 (Channel 4 on Iranian State TV) was founded with the purpose of airing scientific and cultural programs. Simultaneously, Science and Technology pages appeared in more and more daily newspapers.
Iran has a great history of science since the ancient time, to the Islamic era, and then unto modern days. Because of this long tradition, Science became respected by people who put their trust in it. On other hand, Iranian participation in modern science is very young.
Iran is presently seeking development and during this stage science journalism is essential.
There is a difference between traditional knowledge and modern scientific method. There are many foggy concepts that should be clear in the mind of people about science and scientists. If Iranians want to reach scientific development, they should realize where they really are right now. With the help of science journalism, such a picture could be drawn.
And science journalism can help people to familiarize themselves with the concept of scientific progress and skepticism. It is an essential key in the process of development in countries such as Iran.
Journalism and science journalism not only transfer the news in a way the public understands it, but also play a role of an observer to the scientific decisions and trends in society and government. The role that could – if played well – help the society to avoid many misunderstandings and frauds.
Science Journalism as a part of modern journalism is very young in Iran but essential for development of the country. Science journalism like journalism not only could suffer from the general problem of journalism in Iran. But, like anywhere else in the world, it should fight more to prove its importance to managers and editors of media if it is to play its role in the highly political and difficult economic contexts of Iran.
But there are opportunities too. People in general (because of cultural and historical backgrounds) like to know about science and technology. Iran has a very young population and most of the youth is interested in the modern world, in science and technology advancements, and they are very good at using the modern technology. Don’t forget that Iranian youth is actually one of the first groups in the world who started to use social networks as a tool for citizen journalism and to use cyber space to organize political movements during the Green Movement of Iran, which happened after the controversial 2009 presidential election.
In Iran, mainstream media is beginning to realize the importance of science journalism and a new generation of talented and passionate science reporters is rising.
These courses of the World Federation of Science Journalists could help them to learn about principles and methods of modern science journalism and it could help the growth of science journalism not only in Iran but also in Persian language world, including in Afghanistan and Tajikistan.
is an Iranian journalist and researcher who reviewed and edited the Persian/Farsi version of the WFSJ Online Course in Science Journalism translated by Pouria Nazemi. He has M.A. in Social Sciences and worked as senior editor with many newspapers and magazines. He was editor in chief of Rasaneh Quarterly Journal (Journal of communication and journalism). He has published dozens of research and academic articles beside his journalistic works. He is presently Senior Editor at the Hamshahri Journalism Online School (http://www.hamshahritraining.ir/
). You can contact him at email@example.com