Historians are the First Reporters

Shima Donyadar Rostami
Translated by: Fazel Shirzad


"Mazar-i-Sharifis fallen. 17th Moradad  1377(8th august, 1998), here is the place of the Iranian Consulate in Mazar-i-Sharif, and I am Mahmoud Saremi, the reporter of Islamic Republic of Iran, Taliban's group have entered into Mazar-i-Sharif few hours ago. Instant, instant news! Mazar-i-Sharif was fallen by Taliban[1], some Taliban's members are seen at the Consulate's yard, tell me what duty ..." This unfinished news began a journalist's day in the calendar.

Taliban's Takfiri group attacked Iranian Consulate and martyred Mahmoud Saremi, a journalist, and several Iranian diplomats. A responsible journalist who permanently kept the moment of his martyrdom.

The General Culture Council of country on 17th Mordad 1378 (1999) on the first anniversary of this incident, named this day as "Journalist Day". Ever since, every media organization holds a variety of programs to keep journalists up to the point that journalism is dedication and courageous more.

Today, however, there are standards for the profession of journalism, but it can be said that journalism in Iran is not modern, and in the past it was the responsibility of historians and scholars.

According to the book "The History of the Press" written by Seyed Farid Ghasemi, "Mirza Mohammad-Saleh Shirazi" is considered the first Iranian journalist, but according to the historiography method in book "History of Abolfazl Beyhaqi" can be named as a great  Iranian journalist in the fifth century of solar year.

Beyhaqi's ability to "observe", "record details," "depict events", "an affirmation of history and story," "the creation of novel words and combinations," "the elimination of verbs, and sometimes part of  phrases were same in form as required in rhetoric of the word "," the beauty and harmonious of the word "," the precise description of the exterior and interior of individuals "," the visualization and artistic image of scenes and objects, and natural and apropos wordiness and briefness"; he has left a style of historiography that not only looks attractive today, but is also presented as a style of journalism.

The principles and standards of journalism have been changing over and over again ever since, but the basic condition for journalists in every field has always been "search", "fair writing and far from hostility" and "courage in the expression of truth."

Also, "reporter" is referred as society's awakened conscience and the "media" as the fourth pillar of democracy. During the years of Iraqis imposed war against Iran and even afterwards, reporters were martyred in this way such as "Gholam Reza Rahbar"," Yousef Nasuhipour"," Iraj Izadpanah", Fatholllah Zhianphenah", "Hossein Farhadi", "Mohammad Sadegh Nili Ahmadabadi", "Mohammad Ali Bakhshi", "Ismael Omrani ","Alireza Afshar "

The media and cultural organizations of Islamic Republic of Iran hold various programs each year for the attention of journalists and the courage of their pencils. Usually, on the posters of congratulations, the verse of Holy Qur'an "Oath to pen and what it writes[2]" can be seen. This year (2018), both Cultural and Artistic Organization of Tehran mayoralty congratulated this day (Journalist Day) to media journalists by installing billboards over various media outlets.

Although such actions are good for journalists, they still expect the agenda of institutions and organizations to have accountability so that journalists can succeed in their mission.


[1] It is a terrorist group which is an umbrella organization of various militant groups based in the northwestern Federally Administered Tribal Areas along the Afghan border in Pakistan

[2] The first verse of  holy surah" al-Ghalam"

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