Journalism & Censorship Apparatus in Iran, Masih Alinejad
Writer and journalist Masih Alinejad has often struggled with authorities to assert her right to freely express herself. In her talk she speaks about how she personally fought and continues to maneuver the complex censorship apparatus in Iran. Ms. Alinejad also speaks about the types of self-censorship that even Iranian journalists and writers abroad have internalized. She believes that even in so called “free-of-censorship” contexts there are red lines which are rarely crossed. For instance, many human rights journalists and advocates often avoid discussing certain issues pertaining to women’s issues, religious minorities, Kurds, the LGBT community, etc. Masih Alinejad will provide a holistic review of taboos and other aspects of the censorship apparatus that an Iranian journalist will have to overcome in order to achieve a unique voice within the country or abroad.
Masih Alinejad is an Iranian journalist and writer. She is well known for her criticism of Iranian authorities. She was arrested as an activist for producing leaflets critical of the government in 1994. She was a parliamentary reporter for ILNA and a journalist at Hambastegi Daily and Etemad Melli Daily. Several of her articles were followed by harsh criticism from conservative parties in Iran. In 2008, former Iranian head of parliament apologized after an article by Alinejad was published in Etemad Melli Daily on economic problems in Iran. Ms. Alinejad was a parliamentary correspondent for Hambastegi Daily and Iranian Labour News Agency (ILNA), for four years prior to her ban from the parliament in 2005. Her ban from the parliament brought worldwide media attention as she had exposed a significant increase in deputies’ salaries that had not been made public. The Nobel Prize winning lawyer Shirin Ebadi offered to defend her in court. She is the winner of the first annual ‘Omid Journalism Award’ from the Mehdi Semsar Foundation and has published three books in Persian: Tahasson, Taje-e-Khar (The Crown of Thorn) and I am Free.