Press TV is now in Venezuela, Bolivia and Latin America
Press TV (stylised PRESSTV) is a 24-hour English language news and documentary network, affiliated with Islamic Republic of Iran Broadcasting (IRIB). IRIB is state-owned but independent of the Iranian government in its management, and is the only legal TV and radio broadcaster inside Iran. IRIB’s head is appointed directly by the supreme leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, and is considered to be close to the country’s conservative political faction. Press TV is headquartered in Tehran, and has offices and bureaus around the world, including London, Beirut, Damascus, Kabul, and the Gaza Strip. It bills itself as a third alternative to what it considers to be biased Western media and to Sunni media attached to radical Islamic terror groups; critics consider it a shill for the Iranian regime.
Press TV CEO Mohammad Sarafraz said in a June 2007 press conference that, “Since September 11, Western bias has divided the media into two camps: those that favour their policies make up one group and the rest of the media are attached to radical Islamic groups like Al-Qaeda. We want to show that there is a different view. Iran, and the Shi’as in particular, have become a focal point of world propaganda. From the media point of view, we are trying to give a second eye to Western audiences.”
The network’s official vision is “to heed the voices and perspectives of the people of the world; build bridges of cultural understanding; encourage human beings of different nationalities, races and creeds to identify with one another; bring to light untold and overlooked stories of individuals who have experienced political and cultural divides firsthand.” Sarafraz explained that “our experience tells us that pictorial reflection of news and the use of images are more effective than discussion and analysis.”
History of website and satellite TV launch
The network’s website launched in late January 2007. Test satellite transmissions were conducted in late April 2007. The channel launched on 3 July 2007. On 18 March 2009, Press TV launched a new website with a modified graphical user interface. Press TV upgraded to 16:9 widescreen format on 17 November 2011, being the first Iranian network to upgrade its feed to this format, and the second international news network based in the Middle East to do so, after Al Jazeera English.