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Press TV has finally been censored by UK government.

Wotsit | 20.01.2012 17:54 | Repression

Press TV based in London has been highly critical of the UK Government, the Royal family and the USA Government. You can still watch it on the Internet though.

"Press TV, the Iranian state broadcaster's English-language outlet, has been forced off the air in the UK after Ofcom revoked its licence for breaching the Communications Act.

Ofcom found that Press TV's practice of running its editorial oversight from Tehran, Iran's capital, is in breach of broadcasting licence rules in the UK.

"Ofcom has decided to revoke the licence held by Press TV Limited with immediate effect," the media regulator said in a statement.

Ofcom wrote a letter to Press TV in November highlighting the issue and offered a choice of two remedies.

The first was to switch editorial control for Press TV's programming to the UK, the second to transfer the broadcasting licence to Iran.

"Broadcasting rules require that a licence is held by the person who is in general control of the TV service: that is, the person that chooses the programmes to be shown in the service and organises the programme schedule," Ofcom said.

"Ofcom gave Press TV the opportunity to apply to have its operations in Tehran correctly licensed by Ofcom and Ofcom offered to assist it to do so," said the regulator.

Ofcom said Press TV failed to respond to or implement either of these two options..."


"Iran's Press TV loses UK licence
The Guardian - ‎4 hours ago‎
Press TV, the Iranian state broadcaster's English-language outlet, has been forced off the air in the UK after Ofcom revoked its licence for breaching the Communications Act. The controversial broadcaster had been threatened with being banned from ...
Britain bans Iran's Press TV from airwaves - ‎31 minutes ago‎
Britain took a key communications arm of the Iranian state off the airwaves on Friday when Press TV, a satellite news channel, lost its broadcasting licence. The channel showed an interview with Maziar Bahari. He said this interview had been conducted ...
Britain revokes Iran's Press TV licence
AFP - ‎36 minutes ago‎
LONDON — British authorities on Friday revoked the licence of Press TV, the Iranian state broadcaster's English-language outlet, saying the channel had breached a string of regulations. The network hit back on its website, calling the decision "a clear ...
Iranian gov mouthpiece Press TV finally gets taken off the air in the UK
Register - ‎13 minutes ago‎
By Bill Ray • Get more from this author Iranian government-backed broadcaster Press TV has finally got its fondest wish and lost its UK broadcast licence, but its martyrdom is self-inflicted rather than the result of any government conspiracy. ...
Push off now, Press TV, and take your conspiracy theories with you - ‎8 minutes ago‎
The Iranian government's propaganda channel in London, Press TV, has just had its license to broadcast revoked. Insomniac Islamists will no longer be able to enjoy their weekly dose of programmes presented by the likes of Lauren Booth, Tariq Ramadan or ...
UK Revokes Iran's Press TV License
Wall Street Journal - ‎2 hours ago‎
AP LONDON—Britain's telecommunications regulator on Friday revoked the license of Iranian state-owned television station Press TV, and said the channel would disappear from UK television screens by the end of the day. Ofcom said it wasn't convinced the ...
Press TV broadcast licence revoked by Ofcom
The Drum - ‎3 hours ago‎
Ofcom has announced that it has revoked the Licence of Press TV after the station failed to comply with broadcasting regulations in the UK. Last year, Ofcom invoked sanctions against Press TV following an interview it was to found to have obtained ...
Press TV, the Iranian state-funded news channel, loses UK licence
New Statesman (blog) - ‎2 hours ago‎
George Galloway is one of the UK's most prominent contributors to Press TV. Photograph: Getty Images Press TV, the Iranian state-funded news channel, is to be forced off the air in Britain after Ofcom ruled that it was breaching broadcasting rules. ...
Ofcom revokes Press TV's UK licence
Bureau of Investigative Journalism - ‎4 hours ago‎
Press TV, the news channel backed by the Iranian government, is to be taken off the air in Britain, regulator Ofcom ruled today. The station was fined £100000 by Ofcom in December 2011, after the station hid the fact that a 2009 'interviewee' was being ...
UK regulator revokes license of Iran's Press TV - ‎1 hour ago‎
By Jill Lawless AP / January 20, 2012 LONDON—Britain's telecoms regulator on Friday revoked the license of Iranian state-owned television station Press TV, and said the channel would disappear from UK TV screens by the end of the day. ...
Ofcom revokes Press TV licence
Advanced Television - ‎4 hours ago‎
Ofcom has revoked the licence held by Press TV Limited with immediate effect. Through the course of 2011, Ofcom was engaged in a sanctions case with Press TV regarding an interview obtained under duress from the Newsweek and Channel 4 journalist Maziar ...
Press TV loses Ofcom licence
Broadband TV News - ‎4 hours ago‎
Ofcom has revoked the licence of Press TV after the regulator failed to be satisfied the channel's licensee had sufficient control over the programmes broadcast. It follows a series of meetings and correspondence between regulator and broadcaster. ...
UK regulator revokes licence of Iran's Press TV
Scotsman - ‎1 hour ago‎
Ofcom said that the license was held by London-based Press TV Ltd. but editorial decisions were being made by Press TV International, which is based in Tehran. The regulator said it had “offered to assist them in coming into compliance” with the rules, ...
Press TV shut down
Asian Image - ‎4 hours ago‎
A statement released by the watchdog said it was apparent that “editorial control of the channel rested with Press TV International (based in Tehran)” - in breach of broadcasting rules which state the licence holder must have general control of ...
Britain pulls the plug on Iran's Press TV
Reuters India - ‎2 hours ago‎
LONDON (Reuters) - Iranian news channel Press TV will disappear from British television screens on Friday after Britain's media regulator revoked its licence in a move that could fuel diplomatic tensions with the Islamic nation. ...
Iran's Press TV Pulled From UK Screens
RadioFreeEurope/RadioLiberty - ‎1 hour ago‎
Iranian channel Press TV will disappear from British television screens after the British media regulator revoked its license. The Iranian state-owned news channel's English-language service will be removed from Sky TV's satellite platform in Britain ...
Ofom Bans Iran's State Broadcaster Press TV - ‎2 hours ago‎
By Shane Croucher: Subscribe to Shane's RSS feed Iran's Press TV has been banned from British screens after it broke broadcasting rules. Reuters Iranian state TV channel Press TV has been ordered off of British screens by broadcasting regulators for ...
Iran's Press TV Knocked Off British Screens By Regulator And Fined £100000
Huffington Post UK - ‎3 hours ago‎
Iranian news network Press TV has had its licence to broadcast in the United Kingdom revoked by communications watchdog Ofcom. The London-based channel, whose presenters include former MP George Galloway and Tony Blair's sister-in-law Lauren Booth, ...
Iranian TV station banned in UK
Courier Mail - ‎20 minutes ago‎
Off the air: Iran's English-language version of its state broadcaster, Press TV, has had its licence cancelled in the UK. Picture: Press TV Source: Supplied BRITAIN has revoked the licence of Press TV, the Iranian state broadcaster's English-language ...
Iranian channel Press TV has licence revoked by Ofcom
Jewish Chronicle - ‎4 hours ago‎
By Jennifer Lipman, January 20, 2012 The Tehran-backed channel, Press TV has had its UK licence revoked with immediate effect. Broadcasting standards watchdog Ofcom said that in the course of correspondence and meetings in recent months with Press TV, ...
Iranian net's UK licence revoked
C21Media - ‎4 hours ago‎
Ofcom's decision follows Press TV's broadcast of an interview with a journalist held in an Iranian jail, which aired last year. Press TV carried the interview with Newsweek and Channel 4 journalist Maziar Bahari, who was held for four months on ...
Government-backed Iranian TV channel ordered off air in Britain
Monsters and - ‎9 minutes ago‎
London - State-backed Iranian news channel Press TV has had its licence revoked in Britain for being in breach of broadcasting rules, communications watchdog Ofcom said Friday. The glossy, English-medium channel would go off the air in Britain Friday."



Censorship as a Badge of Honor?

21.01.2012 17:35

For the first time, British government censors have banned a 24-hour news channel from British viewers. As of the afternoon, UK-time, 20th January 2012, viewers of Press TV, an avowedly anti-imperialist TV channel headquartered in Tehran and featuring many of the voices found in CounterPunch, saw the words “Channel Unavailable” when tapping their clicker. And so the war on Iran by Britain, Israel and the U.S. continues using propaganda, proxy militants and asymmetric warfare.

Unlike the U.S., whose authorities have so often had to get around the first amendment to ban media from Americans, the UK has no law against the abridging of freedom of speech or against “infringing on the freedom of the press”. The decision was made by Ed Richards, previously Senior Policy Advisor to Tony Blair and a Controller of Corporate Strategy at the BBC. He now runs OFCOM, a regulatory agency charged with judging what news Britons are able to view.

One of the broadcast regulator’s central arguments about Press TV is that it is not convinced that editorial control is based in Britain. I’ve worked for numerous foreign channels that are allowed to broadcast in the UK, so I know this discrepancy will come as a surprise to my former employers at the London offices of CNN International, Bloomberg and Al Jazeera, all of which ultimately answer, editorially, to bosses in Atlanta, New York and Doha.

Press TV Ltd., a UK-based production company making programmes for Press TV has also been fined $155,000. This was because the channel in Tehran, broadcast an interview with Maziar Bahari of Newsweek whilst he was in prison. Bahari, who I have appeared with on discussion panels about the situation in Iran, is on the record as saying he wants Press TV banned and, basically, war on Iran. His views on banning TV stations are shared by the British government. We know this thanks to Wikileaks which released a secret cable from 2010 detailing the views of Jaime (sic) Turner, “Deputy Head of Multi-lateral affairs at the UK Foreign and Commonwealth Office”:

Her Majesty’s Government is looking at other ways to address the issue. Her Majesty’s Government is exploring ways to limit the operations of the Islamic Republic of Iran Broadcasting’s PRESS TV service..However, UK law sets a very high standard for denying licenses to broadcasters. Licenses can only be denied in cases where national security is threatened, or if granting a license would be contrary to Britain’s obligations under international law. Currently, neither of these standards can be met with respect to PRESS TV, but if further sanctions are imposed on Iran in the coming months, a case may be able to be made on the second criterion.

While it is obviously a badge of honour for journalists to provoke such paranoia in a government – how is Press TV threatening UK national security?! – the cable also revealed Britain to be begging for U.S. intervention vis a vis France:

5. (S) In the immediate term, Her Majesty’s Government plans to lobby the French government to approach Eutelsat and press it to drop Islamic Republic of Iran Broadcasting’s broadcasts from the Hotbird satellite. Islamic Republic of Iran Broadcasting broadcasts several channels from the satellite, both domestically (even most terrestrial TV channels in Iran are dependent on a satellite and repeaters) and internationally, so it is an important source of income for Eutelsat. While it would be unlikely for the company to agree to drop the Islamic Republic of Iran Broadcasting broadcasts spontaneously, Turner believes it would be susceptible to an approach by the French government because of the cover it would gain from complying with an official government request. Her Majesty’s Government would appreciate U.S. Government engagement with the government of France on this issue.

Nothing happened as regards London lobbying Paris to push the channel off the Eutelsat satellite but over here, I have witnessed bizarre examples of British journalists wishing to crush press freedom. Only in the past week, the UK Sunday Times’ Eleanor Mills wrote that Press TV “..has been fined £100,000…by the TV regulator OFCOM; many may think a more fitting punishment would see the station taken off air.” Such is the insouciant hackery of some British journalists when it comes to issues of free speech.

Those who have watched Press TV (it is, of course, available on the internet let alone nearly twenty free-to-air satellites) will know that its coverage of international events does not conform to the neoliberal news and current affairs brainwashing paradigm in mainstream newsrooms. It is one of the only TV stations in the world that genuinely gives international news, on a daily basis, covering all continents.

As CounterPunch readers know, there is already a war on Iran and this British decision is another front. Let’s hope that at least some of OFCOM’s board – you know who you are, Colette Bowe, Lord Blackwell, Dame Lynne Brindley, Tim Gardam, Dame Patricia Hodgson, Stuart McIntosh, Mike McTighe and Jill Ainscough – will realise that the purpose of the regulator was not to infringe on press freedom. In the meantime, still legal channels such as Russia Today are so far tolerated and give British viewers a view of the world different to the sanitised Orwellian fictions available on terrestrial television in the United Kingdom. And soon, as British viewers continue to switch off their television sets and boot up their computers, UK governments may realise that it is powerless to ban information getting to the masses.

Afshin Rattansi runs Alternate Reality Productions Ltd. One of its commissions is Double Standards, a political satire show for Press TV, broadcast every Saturday at 2230 GMT. Shows can be accessed via He can be reached via

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Hide the following 4 comments


20.01.2012 18:48

Press tv is nothing but a mouthpiece for the religious fanatics that enslave the Iranian people, Iranians want nothing to do with Press TV, Ahmadinejad, Khamenei, or any other fascist fanatics currently running Iran.

Khamenei does not represent Islam, Khamenei does not represent Iran, Khamenei does not represent the Iranian people.

Liberals in the West have no clue about the real situation in Iran, by supporting state mouthpieces like Press TV you are supporting slavery, homophobia, fascism, sexism, and right wing conservatism.

Iranian diaspora

part of the war against Iran

20.01.2012 23:28

understand this: the revoking of the licence from PressTV is all part of increasing hostilities leading to the coming war with Iran

if you have ever actually watched the channel you will know that many of the presenters and guests are very progressive minded and that the channel has many intelligent programes with an in-depth analysis of world and domestic British politics.

be clear in your minds my friends - when the war comes (some would say it is already here), will you have fallen for our state and media propaganda's demonisation of a whole nation in order to justify wholesale massacre, or will you stand up against it? this country was fooled into the Iraq war, and millions died at the hands of NATO; fooled into Libya; ten of thousands slaughtered by the cowards.

try to see through the murky for what is really happening here.


necessary evil?

20.01.2012 23:35

Not to say that religious fanaticism is necessary, but come on -

BBC or PressTV? Know which one I'd rather watch, taking where I live into consideration n' all

neccessary evil

Garbage In Garbage out

21.01.2012 08:15

"BBC or PressTV? Know which one I'd rather watch, taking where I live into consideration n' all"

Sure, for anyone who buys into dichotomies like 'UK good/Iran bad' or indeed 'Iran good/UK bad' its a no brainer, you're going to pick the station that created and reinforces your stupidity.

Not sure why the Islamophobic smear has to be used though, it isn't going to strike a note with anyone who has actually watched Press TV cover British issues that the BBC would never cover.

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