Iran
Ever since its revolution in 1979, most of Iran's media outlets are affiliated with a political current. Chief Editors as well as their publishers are either members of a political party themselves or have close ties to or are funded by an individual political figure. Media outlets in many ways replace party manifesto and serve as a platform for political communication. News reporting is, therefore, presented through the lens of a specific political agenda. And by scanning through the variety of publications one may get a full picture of how current developments are seen in Iran's political elite.

It is fair to say that Iran's media landscape has evolved into a landscape that is drawn along political cleavages. State-licenced media adopt an intra-systemic approach, meaning they do not challenge the existing political order. While this considerably restricts the media context, it still leaves room for a diverse public debate in which critical and investigative reporting is still practiced. The work of the government is criticized, as is the performance of ministries and other political institutions. "Red lines" are constantly shifting back and forth. Debates are at times more open, only to be more restricted in other times. This dynamism can be best described as a pendulum which swings from more restriction to more openness in continuous manner.

MiCT's project work in Iran aims at making better sense of how Iran's media landscape works and understand how the role of journalists and media outlets is defined contextually. MiCT believes it is essential to foster exchange with Iranian media actors after decades after international isolation. When doing so it is indispensable to reach out to outlets from all strata of the political spectrum in order to attain a comprehensive picture of the respective media context.

In 2013 and 2014 MiCT launched an event series entitled "Media Landscape and Public Discourse in the Islamic Republic of Iran". Experts from Iran and Europe shed light on basic aspects of public debates, campaigns and news reporting in Iran. The events were set up in cooperation with the Humboldt-Viadrina School of Governance.

In 2014 and 2015, MiCT run the "German-Iranian Media Dialogue" which brought together journalists from both countries in Berlin. Through joint research for articles, round-tables and workshop sessions the two groups exchanged work experience, viewpoints on relevant aspects of journalism and prospects for cooperation.

MiCT also set up a "Photo Reporting & Photographic Feature" workshop in Tehran, hosted by the students news agency ISNA in Tehran. The best participant of that 5-days workshop which entailed theoretic sections and hands-on projects was invited to Berlin in November 2015 for an exhibition of her work. The exhibition raised huge interested and hundreds of visitors in only two days. It served as further evidence that people-to-people relations between Germany and Iran is demanded by both sides. Dialogue projects of media actors, MiCT believes, can be a key to introduce both countries to each other in effective many and open avenues for cooperation.