Friday, February 04, 2011

Radio Netherlands launches new Farsi website

Prompted by the tense relations between Tehran and The Hague following the execution of Dutch-Iranian Zahra Bahrami, RNW has launched a new website aimed at Iran. The new site went live today in a ‘light version’ - for social media and mobile phone use - and will be, as its name indicates, produced in Farsi, the language spoken in Iran and by the many Iranians who live outside the country.

The decision to start this new internet service has also been prompted by the continuing crises in Egypt and Tunisia, both of which are of great significance for many other countries in the region, including Iran. The current Islamic Republic there is itself the result of a popular uprising which took place in Iran in 1979. This new RNW website is also Radio Netherlands Worldwide’s first service in Farsi, the station’s 11th broadcasting and website language.

RNW Editor-in-Chief Rik Rensen believes that there is a large market within Iran which would welcome an independent and balanced service from the Netherlands: “The website’s initial launch is for a period of one month, at the end of which we’ll decide whether it should be continued.”

With social media providing popular information-sharing platforms for many Iranians, too, much of the output of will also be re-published via these channels.

RNW already provides an Arabic-language service which produces radio programmes and satellite text TV alongside its main website . The service in Farsi will translate and publish material from the Arabic service where relevant for Iran and Iranians. A daily review of major news as covered by Dutch and international media will also be provided in Farsi.

RNW says it intends and hopes to work with media partners both in and outside Iran which want to share information in Farsi, provided these organisations are able to operate independently.
(R Netherlands Media Network Weblog)