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Opinion: Reform's media problem

25 June 2005

 won't dare saying that the majority of Iranians do not demand socio-political freedoms, just because "Ahmadinejad won the elections":http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/world/middle_east/4621249.stm . To me it means two things:

1. Social inequality is a serious problem in Iran, for which Rafsanjani was heavily responsible. He was beaten by the outcome of his policies.

2. The reform movement can't reach beyond a certain population. They only have newspapers and Internet, with an approximate reach of five to seven millions. While the regime has a monopoly on TV and radio, the reformists can't even reach the majority of the middle-class, especially the youth, who are not into reading anymore, let alone the lower-class in rural areas.

On the other hand, satellite TVs which have a much wider reach than print and the Internet, are promoting exactly the opposite message of the reform, which has proved it only benefits the conservatives, especially during the elections, by creating an atmosphere of apathy. Until the reformists change this balance, they are doomed to loose the elections. They have to invest time and money in satellite TV channels etc. and try to decrease the wide-spread apathy, especially among the youth.

How can Americans fight dark money and disinformation?

Violence, corruption and cynicism threaten America's flagging democracy. Joe Biden has promised to revive it – but can his new administration stem the flow of online disinformation and shady political financing that has eroded the trust of many US voters?

Hear from leading global experts and commentators on what the new president and Congress must do to stem the flood of dark money and misinformation that is warping politics around the world.

Join us on Thursday 21 January, 5pm UK time/12pm EST.

Hear from:

Emily Bell Leonard Tow Professor of Journalism and director, Tow Center for Digital Journalism, Columbia Journalism School

Anoa Changa Journalist focusing on electoral justice, social movements and culture

Peter Geoghegan openDemocracy investigations editor and author of 'Democracy for Sale: Dark Money and Dirty Politics'

Josh Rudolph Fellow for Malign Finance at the Alliance for Securing Democracy

Chair: Mary Fitzgerald Editor-in-chief, openDemocracy 

Further speakers to be announced

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