chapter  1
14 Pages

The Shah’s last years (1977–79)

The 1978-79 Revolution found the Iranian press in a state of deep hibernation, with about 100 newspapers, 23 of them dailies,1 compared to around 300, including 25 dailies, in 1952,2 a year before Mohammad Mosaddeq’s government was overthrown in the coup organized by the United States and Britain. The fall in the number of newspapers was all the more remarkable since over the same period Iran’s population had doubled to 35 million – 50 per cent of them living in cities, a rise of around 70 per cent3 – and the literacy rate had risen by five times, to just over 50 per cent.4