In an interciew with the cultural correspondent of IRNA on the role of media in increasing public awareness and correct election, Hamid Reza Ziaeiparvar said, "First of all, we should take into account that we are facing different kinds of print and online media as well as video and audio media of IRIB."
He continued, "Print media largely act professionally, and the process of handling news is professional. Since the new is documented by them, they are more careful in dissemination of the news. Thus, the deviation from the accuracy of the news is less in print media."
The author of "The Electronic Media" continued, "Of course, IRIB belongs to a special group, but the Supervising Commission of Elections carefully monitor the programs during the elections, so it relatively follows the fairness of the programs."
He reiterated, "However, IRIB usually was oriented against government and the reform movement apart from this period."
*** The amateurs' activity is the characteristic of the cyberspace
The author of "The studies on Cyber Journalism" continued, "our main problem in cyberspace is the news sites, daily websites, and social media which absolutely have wider audience than newspapers and news agencies, and their users are as any as the TV viewers."
He pointed out that the professional journalists do not handle this kind of media and said, "The first damaged caused by these media is that their managers do not know the norms and ethics of the work."
Ziaeiparvar noted, "Some pieces of news are deliberately released by the rival groups with the target of psychological warfare and operations in the cyberspace in order to mislead and take advantage of the public opinion."
The professor of communication course added, "This kind of new is valid in the short period of rumors, but both the receivers and the transmitters are not professional and are impressed which makes the cyberspace the most vulnerable."
Referring the government's measure to register the channels with over 5 thousand people, he said, "This measure was not so much successful because the government's policy is not to close the channels, and the measure was intended to lessen the pressure to some extent. Finally, we should say that these virtual networks have a kind of unlimited freedom which is not right. Therefore, it is the responsibility of the official media to release the facts whenever informal information is released in cyberspace, though there is too much inaccurate information in the cyberspace.
*** increasing the people's information and knowledge
Ziaieparvar, referring to increasing people's information and knowledge in recent years, said, "People's information and digital knowledge has not increases as much as the advance of this media. However, the freedom that the people have in the virtual spaces is a sketch of democracy for them to release their information for public. If Hassan Rouhani were not the president, they would have this possibility."
He continued, "Nowadays it is strange to witness the people who use the cyberspace most are more unsatisfied."
***The decrease in print propaganda results from the increase of activities in cyberspace.
On the decrease in paper propaganda in big cities, he said, "It is a good event because propaganda in that form was both prodigality in paper and made dirty the appearance of the city.
Ziaeiparvar said, "The important reason for the reduction in paper propaganda results from the cyberspace to which 54 million people in the country have access by internet, while 40 million people are the members of the Telegram. If we omit those who have several ID on Telegram, around 24 to 30 million people have access to Telegram that is much more than the number of TV viewers and press readers."
He noted, "It is natural for political individuals, groups, and factions to enter the cyberspace, especially when the print propaganda impresses a few groups."
*** The addition of a live debate
On the IRIB programs to introduce candidates, the professor of communications said, "The debates are the best informative means because they are alive."
He added, "Of course, the mono- speaking programs are good, too. I saw one of the candidates TV program which I think was excellent. However, due to my experience in media, I recognized it had a cut every 2 or three minutes. I did not find out whether the candidate himself asked for the cut or the Supervising Committee of the Elections was responsible for them. Moreover, the recorded programs are not so impressive as the live ones."
On the live debates, the author of the "Applied Technologies of Public Relations" said, "The form and the framework of live programs have some problems, but they are acceptable."
Pointing out that three live debates have been determined on April 29th, May 5th, and May 12th, he said," The last live debate will be held seven days before the elections. I think it is better to consider a 4th live debate three or four days before the day of elections."
Ziaeiparvar said, "These live debates revive the atmosphere. The TV performance was acceptable in the first debate, especially it had live webcast both on Live 21 and on Instagram."
He reminded, "We owe to Hassan Rouhani's Cabinet who developed internet so much that we can take advantage of the high bandwidth."
Considering the live webcast as the phenomenon of the current election, Ziaeiparvar said, "While Telegram turned into the phenomenon of the parliament elections in 2015. The live webcast has attracted many people in this period."
According to IRNA, the twelfth presidential elections coincides the elections for the city and village councils on May 19th.
The candidates of the current presidential elections of Islamic Republic of Iran are Hojjat al-Eslam Seyed Ebrahim Reisi, Hojjat al-Eslam Hassan Rouhani, Seyed Mostafa Hashmi Taba, Ishaq Jahangiri, Mohammad Bagher Ghalibaf, and Seyed Mostafa Mir- Salim.