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									BC Persian TV audience doubles to six million

The BBC says the channel's audience has grown despite blocking attempts
by the Iranian authorities
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New research has shown that BBC Persian TV's audience in Iran almost
doubled between 2009 and 2011.

The figures show the channel's audience had grown to 6m, up from 3.1m.

The BBC says the channel is subject to "persistent and repeated blocking"
in Iran. Earlier this month, the BBC accused Iranian authorities of
intimidating its journalists.

The research is published as the BBC World Service celebrates its 80th
anniversary.

The research indicated that the number of Iranians using the BBC's
international news services as a whole (including TV and radio) had risen
by 85% from 3.9m in 2009 to 7.2m.

The research was carried out in February 2011 as part of the US
Broadcasting Board of Governors' International Audience Research Program.

The research excludes those using the internet in Iran to access BBC
Persian because those figures are difficult to measure owing to
censorship.

'Appalling bullying'
"These figures are a tremendous tribute to the courage and dedication of
BBC Persian journalists in the face of appalling bullying and
intimidation by the Iranian authorities", the BBC's Director of Global
News Peter Horrocks said.

Earlier this month, the BBC's Director General Mark Thompson wrote in a
blog that the BBC had seen "disturbing new tactics" in intimidating
journalists, including the targeting of family members of those working
outside Iran.

Iran accused the BBC of inciting unrest after the disputed re-election of
President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad in 2009.

BBC Persian broadcast online videos and interviewed protesters, who
described deaths, injuries and arbitrary arrests carried out by security
forces.

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BBC accuses Iran of intimidation 03 FEBRUARY 2012, MIDDLE EAST
Iran arrests six over 'BBC links' 19 SEPTEMBER 2011, MIDDLE EAST
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Iran asks BBC reporter to leave 22 JUNE 2009, MIDDLE EAST
Around the BBC

BBC   Persian BBC - The Editors- The harassment of BBC Persian journalists
BBC   - The Editors- Families of BBC staff being harassed in Iran
BBC   - Press Office - Iran jamming BBC Persian Television
BBC   - The Editors- Stop the blocking now
The   BBC is not responsible for the content of external Internet sites

								
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