Iranian newspapers on verge of unemployment wave, need government support
Iran's newspapers and magazines need immediate financial support from the government to prevent mass unemployment, Iran's MP Gholam Ali Jafarzadeh Imanabadi told Trend.
"In order to control social issues during critical situation there is a need for clear and prompt information, unfortunately the current situation led to closure of businesses, including the media outlets that were forced to change their function and format," he said.
"Since printing is freezed, the newspapers and magazines can't work, and the job security of journalists is in danger. Other media outlets have changed the form of their work due to limitations," said the MP.
"It's inevitable that everyone will face economic losses, but it should be noted that the government is obligated to support these jobs," he said.
Imanabadi believes the government and the Ministry of Culture and Islamic Guidance should implement two approaches in supporting the local media.
"The first approach is the permit for digital publication of magazines and newspapers so they will continue to spread information, the second measure is providing support package and subside to owners of media outlets to prevent unemployment and downsizing," he added.
"It has been said that media does not produce lots of income but they have heavy commitments. Publishing advertisement is an important part of news outlet's revenues and in these two months , they had economic losses therefore as a member of parliament I asked the government to support the media," Imanabadi said.
Iran is one of the countries heavily affected by the rapidly-spreading coronavirus. According to recent reports from the Iranian officials, over 47,500 people have been infected, 3,036 people have already died. Meanwhile, over 15,400 have reportedly recovered from the disease.
The country continues to apply strict measures to contain the further spread. Reportedly, the disease was brought to Iran by a businessman from Iran's Qom city, who went on a business trip to China, despite official warnings. The man died later from the disease.
The Islamic Republic only announced its first infections and deaths from the coronavirus on Feb. 19.
The World Health Organization (WHO) declared COVID-19 a pandemic on March 11. Some sources claim the coronavirus outbreak started as early as November 2019.