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Persian Service: The BBC And British Interests In Iran Hardcover

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AuthorAnnabelle Sreberny
LanguageEnglish
PublisherI.B.Tauris and Co. Ltd.
Publication Date3/27/2014
Author 2Massoumeh Torfeh
Book DescriptionRumour and speculation in Iran have been rife for generations that the BBC has had a hand in every political upheaval in the country. In this vein the BBC has become a notable element in the complex and tortured narrative of Anglo-Iranian relations. The BBC Persian Service was initially developed in 1940 to prepare and broadcast British war-time propaganda. And it has since been seen by many in Iran as an integral part of British policy-making in the region. Thirty years ago, the Shah of Iran regarded the BBC Persian Service radio as his 'enemy number one' and held it responsible for promoting the revolution of 1979. Only a couple decades earlier, the BBC Persian Service was widely accused for having been complicit in the CIA-led 1953 coup against Prime Minister Mohammad Musaddiq. And a decade earlier, the BBC Persian Service was strongly linked to the British-planned removal of Reza Shah in 1941. The BBC Persian service has frequently been perceived as an entity which was not simply a vehicle to record the changes occurring in Iran and throughout the Middle East, but rather an active agent of change. In this book, Annabelle Sreberny and Massoumeh Torfeh track the history of the BBC Persian Service, critically analysing both the assumptions that the BBC is a standard bearer for objective reporting and representations of it as a simple tool of Western interests. Also examining the history of relations between the Foreign Office and the BBC Persian Service, they demonstrate that these have never been pre-defined or rigid. Instead, they explore how both institutions have moved from an interest in what can crudely be called state-orchestrated 'propaganda' to a more subtle advocacy of fair and balanced journalism as the best agent of British values and influence.
Editorial ReviewI consider this to be an excellent piece of work. Drawing on so many sources and quoting them, it is itself a balanced commentary on a subject which aroused many passions. Much of the material I had not seen before, and the inner workings of the BBC and FCO have a certain fascination for me. Christopher Rundle, formerly of the FCO Middle East Department
About the AuthorAnnabelle Sreberny is Professor of Global Media and Communications in the Centre for Media and Film Studies at the School of Oriental and African Studies (SOAS), University of London. She is the co-author of Blogistan: The Internet and Politics in Iran (I.B.Tauris, 2009) and the co-editor of Cultural Revolution in Iran: Contemporary Popular Culture in the Islamic Republic (I.B.Tauris, 2013). Massoumeh Torfeh is the Director of the Strategic Communication & Spokespersons Unit, part of the United Nations Assistance Mission in Afghanistan (UNAMA), Kabul, Afghanistan, and Research Associate in the Centre for Media and Film Studies at SOAS. She was previously a senior producer for the BBC World Service. She is also the co-editor of Cultural Revolution in Iran: Contemporary Popular Culture in the Islamic Republic (I.B.Tauris, 2013).
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