Usually, the media is held in high regard in the modern world, considered the indicator of democracy and the freedom of speech in a country. In most countries where democracy is established, the freedom and independence of the media play an important role in guiding and managing public opinion, especially the improvement of the thinking of future generations.
However, in Iran under the rule of the Iranian regime with reactionary thoughts, things are very different, and like in any other dictatorship the media is used as the regime’s propaganda apparatus. It should be noted that the IRIB’s main duty is protecting the regime, in some cases even more than any other institution, in balance with the regime’s Revolutionary Force (IRGC).
Under the regime’s current constitution, this organization is one of the subsets of the regime’s leadership, the Velayat-e Faqih, parallel to other major organizations and mouthpieces of the regime like Kayhan and the IRGC. This has made the regime’s media unrivaled, leaving no space for independent media to have the chance to grow.
Another main constant duty of IRIB is the concept of the sodoure enqelab (the export of revolution), which is one of the main clauses of the regime’s constitution. The regime started its Arabic Service following its establishment in 1980. These days, the IRIB world service runs fourteen satellite TV channels, three internet TV channels, and thirty-two radio stations, of which several are broadcasting in Arabic.
When it comes to international security and peace, the Iranian regime’s propaganda machine is a serious security threat, while its Arabic-language media, encompasses more than two hundred entities. Domestically, however, the regime’s media is facing a dramatic decline in audiences.
On July 17, the state-run Khorasan daily published an article highlighting some miserable statistics about the decline in the IRIB’s audiences, which is proof of the people’s ongoing hatred of the regime.
The daily wrote, “Yesterday, IRIB’s Public Relations published the results of two surveys of this organization’s research center about TV series and programs. On Thursday, in a report titled ‘Radio and TV Polls in the Dark Room’ published on this same page, we pointed out the lack of clarity in the polls of TV programs, and now in the results of the new poll, the statistics of only four popular TV programs were announced. And there are countless TV shows whose audience statistics have not been published for a long time.”
Highlighted in the IRIB’s non-transparent survey it states, “According to this survey, ‘Asr Jadid 3’ is the most watched television program in May 2022 with 44.4 percent of viewers, and ‘Khandewane’ is the second most watched program with 39.2 percent of viewers. Therefore, no TV program has reached the 50% audience mark, which shows the relative weakness of television these days.”
The daily added, “The sad thing is the number of viewers of TV series. The figure of 15% viewership for any series was considered a low figure, but in the recent survey of series which belongs to the first half of July 2022, Channel One’s ‘Mastooran’ with 15.4% of viewers has been announced as the most popular TV series these days! Meanwhile, the situation of the rest of the series is much worse.”
The Khorasan daily concluded, “The audience of 10% for most TV series shows that the TV series of recent months is on the border of crisis; A crisis that may lead to the decline of the next series (which may be better) by the abandon of the audiences from the evening broadcast of the IRIB.”
It should be noted that the Iranian people frequently introduce the IRIB as one of the main enemies in their protests, chanting slogans of ‘shame of state TV and Radio’.