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.

Stop the secrecy: Publish the NHS COVID data deals

To: Matt Hancock, Secretary of State for Health and Social Care

We’re calling on you to immediately release details of the secret NHS data deals struck with private companies, to deliver the NHS COVID-19 datastore.

We, the public, deserve to know exactly how our personal information has been traded in this ‘unprecedented’ deal with US tech giants like Google, and firms linked to Donald Trump (Palantir) and Vote Leave (Faculty AI).

The COVID-19 datastore will hold private, personal information about every single one of us who relies on the NHS. We don’t want our personal data falling into the wrong hands.

And we don’t want private companies – many with poor reputations for protecting privacy – using it for their own commercial purposes, or to undermine the NHS.

The datastore could be an important tool in tackling the pandemic. But for it to be a success, the public has to be able to trust it.

Today, we urgently call on you to publish all the data-sharing agreements, data-impact assessments, and details of how the private companies stand to profit from their involvement.

The NHS is a precious public institution. Any involvement from private companies should be open to public scrutiny and debate. We need more transparency during this pandemic – not less.

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