By: Mir M.Hosseini
Vaghaye Ettefaghiyeh(means Events Happening in Persian) was the name of the second Persian newspaper that was published by the order from Qajar grand Vezir Amirkabir. The first Persian newspaper was Kaghaz Akhbar (meaning Paper News in Persian). Amirkabir's purpose in foundation of this newspaper was to create grounds for radical changes in Iranian politics and economy. The newspaper with 12-14 pages survived for about 20 years, although its founder Amirkabir was murdered by Naseroddin Shah the following year.
There were different sections in the Vaghaye Ettefaghiyeh Newspaper. First pages covered official news related to the central government in Tehran, followed by news from provinces and later pages covered developments in Europe. Most of translations were done by Etemadossaltaneh, the Qajar court interpreter who later became the manager of the Vaghaye Ettefaghiyeh. In most issues of the newspaper, current market prices of necessities were published as a method of supervision or regulation by the government and in some issues surveys of new books were published.
But there were two setbacks related to the newspaper:
-First, the price of the newspaper was 10 Shahi which made it too expensive and not affordable for most people to buy.
-Second, it became a means of state propaganda: first pages of the newspaper were filled with flattering words about Naseroddin Shah, the dictator to the extent that even weather conditions seemed to be at Shah's command!
The history of published press in Iran has been full of ups and downs ever since, state control and censorship have always been a part of the history of the Iranian media including later developments such as radio, television and the internet.