Zamaneh Media is a Persian language media organization based in Amsterdam, the Netherlands. It provides independent journalism, citizen reporting, e-learning, debate and knowledge to an audience in Iran and the Persian speaking community around the world, building bridges between Iran and the Iranian diaspora and between different Persian speaking communities, such as in Afghanistan and Central Asia.

It is a public media that gives a voice to the unheard: geographic, ethnic and sexual minorities, young Iranians, experts, writers, bloggers and independent academic thinkers are all engaged in conversations about a wide range of issues that are considered public taboos in present-day Iran.

Radio Zamaneh’s editorial output focusses on reports, analyses, commentaries, blogs, debates and films about social, economic, cultural and political topics, press and internet freedom, human rights and democracy. At the same time, it hosts Zamaneh Tribune, a secure online platform where Iranian citizen reporters and human rights activists can upload, share and discuss multimedia reports on human rights and democracy and enter into debate with each other.

Zamaneh Media provided close to 4000 Iranians with online education in Persian on independent journalism, multimedia reporting and digital security. Its different web platforms yielded over 12 million visits last year.

Mission

It is Zamaneh’s mission to be an independent source of information about Iran and other Persian-speaking countries. We are a professional network of journalists, writers, intellectuals, artists, and students dedicated to honest learning and fair reporting on developments in Iran and the Iranian diaspora abroad. Radio Zamaneh is politically independent and supports the freedom and diversity of press by valuating international journalistic principles such as objectivity, accuracy and impartiality.

Zamaneh Media wants to give a democratic platform to the unheard voices of Iran by facilitating “the Power to Question and Debate”. Zamaneh’s open access multimedia platforms are designed to reach different audiences through multiple channels and foster audience participation in discussion. This approach empowers citizens to actively engage in issues raised and encourages respect for diverse opinions.

Since 2007, Radio Zamaneh has focused particularly on increasing public awareness on democracy and human rights in Iran. We strive for an informed, educated and empowered civil society that can act as a catalyst for change and reform and put an end to increasing violations of basic human rights in Iran.

History

In 2005, Free Press Unlimited partnered up with a team of Iranian journalists to form Radio Zamaneh. The Dutch government decided to support the development of media plurality in Iran after a unanimous vote in parliament. Radio Zamaneh was established in 2006 as a non-profit organization under Dutch law. It has no ties to any political, ethnic or social group inside or outside Iran. Radio Zamaneh has developed a broad network of over 250 contributors in Iran and the Iranian diaspora, including a wide range of prominent Iranian journalists, academics, activists and artists.

The organization is supported by the Netherlands Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Free Press Unlimited, the European Commission, the Canadian Ministry of Foreign Affairs and many others. Radio Zamaneh is supervised by a board consisting of prominent members active in Dutch media, politics and business.

Currently, Zamaneh Media hosts various online platforms, such as its main Persian-language editorial website www.radiozamaneh.com, its online learning portal www.academyzamaneh.com and citizen reporting platform Zamaneh Tribune: www.tribunezamaneh.com. It is also very active on many of the major Social Media platforms such as Facebook, YouTube and Twitter.

Achievements

During the Green Movement in Iran (2009-2010), Radio Zamaneh performed the important task of providing factual and independent information from inside Iran to a large audience, with an average of 40.000 visitors per day. In June 2009 alone RZ received 1 million visits.

For many years, Zamaneh has been considered an important taboo-breaking media, especially in the fields of human rights in Iran. For example: through contacts with refugee camps located near the Iraq-Syria borders, Zamaneh has been covering ground-breaking stories on Kurdish and Arab asylum seekers from Iran, while in 2012, Iran’s eastern Azerbaijan province was hit by an earthquake. It was the first medium that published inside reports from local NGO’s that were obstructed by the Iranian government to provide assistance to victims of the earthquake. Zamaneh Media is also a producer of film documentaries on human rights violations in Iran touching on sensitive subjects as LGBT rights, forced confessions and torture.

Zamaneh has become an increasingly important breeding ground for citizen journalists from Iran, who have been able to benefit from a high-quality online learning program in journalism and multimedia reporting. Since 2010, Zamaneh has trained close to 4000 Iranians in its basic email-based program, and an additional 500 Iranians through advanced courses that also provide students with personal coaching from experienced journalists. Approximately 65% of the students that Zamaneh reaches are residing inside Iran. The success of the e-learning program has led to a high increase in the number of reports from Iranian citizen reporters on Zamaneh’s radio channel and website.

In order to provide an even more extended platform for citizen reporters from Iran, Zamaneh Media launched “Zamaneh Tribune”. This is an online platform that allows Iranian citizen reporters to share their news, stories, photos, videos and radio programs in Persian. In addition, the platform enables reporters to improve their journalistic skills through video tutorials and live feedback. The platform presents only non-editorial content and has a strong focus on human rights and minority issues in Iran.

Digital security and digital access have become of increased importance to Iranian audiences in recent years. On its digital security section Amngozar, Zamaneh regularly publishes articles and video tutorials to strengthen the security awareness and digital hygiene amongst its audiences. Zamaneh Media in addition offers a dedicated Zamaneh Psiphon 3 client for free, which provides some 130.000 Iranian citizens unrestricted and secure internet access.

In 2014, Zamaneh Media produced two feature-length documentary films, Out of Iran (dealing with the many challenges the Iranian LGBT community faces) and Behind the High Walls (on political prisoners in Iran in the 1980s) and it is involved in many other film projects as well.

In addition, Zamaneh Media regularly organizes events and debates on topics such as press freedom in Iran, online security and freedom, elections and human rights.

Management & Board

Chief Editor Radio Zamaneh:

Mohammad Reza Nikfar, PhD

Dr. Nikfar is a writer and researcher in the field of political philosophy and has worked for various academic institutes and media, including the BBC and Deutsche Welle. He has written numerous books and essays that were published in Persian and German; in 2007 he was selected by the renowned Persian cultural magazine Negahe Nou as Iran’s best author of the year. Additionally, since 2012, he has lead Radio Zamaneh’s editorial team with satisfactory outcomes.

Please contact Mohammad Reza Nikfar for all related editorial issues: editor [at] radiozamaneh [dot] com

Executive Director

Rieneke Van Santen, MA

Ms. Rieneke Van Santen has a background in International Development and International Communications Management. She has been active at Radio Zamaneh in numerous positions since 2010 and as executive director since 2015. In addition to leading the organization, she is a university lecturer in Managing Cross-cultural Communication. Prior to this, she was active as a consultant and trainer for governmental organizations of developing countries in Sub-Sahara Africa and the Caribbean and she conducted research into citizen media for peace.

Please contact Rieneke Van Santen for all institutional issues related to Radio Zamaneh, as well as requests for press coverage or issues related to exiled media, citizen media, ICT4D, human rights in Iran and female leadership: director[at]radiozamaneh[dot]com