The Official Website of Grand Ayatollah Makarem Shirazi

The Official Website of Grand Ayatollah Makarem Shirazi

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News Reporters and Fight against Cultural Assault [Journalist]

Question:How is it possible for a reporter to fight against cultural assault?
Answer: A reporter can help indirectly by informing the persons who are ready for the duty in this fight, also by revealing the truths in the society, especially by informing people about harmful effects of this assault.

Selling Less than the Amount in Informing and News [Journalist]

Question:What is selling less than the amount in informing and news?
Answer: Selling less than the amount has a specific meaning which is used in transactions and a general meaning that anyone who steals from his/her work is its example. And about news, if the reporter transfers the news incomplete or doesn't send some news then it is similar to selling less than the amount.

Cooperation of Women in Collecting News and Reports [Journalist]

Question:Is it permissible to use women for collecting news and reports?
Answer: If principles of chastity are observed then cooperation of women doesn't have problem.

To Use Expressional Methods of Qur'an in Informing [Journalist]

Question:By considering that Qur'an is expression of god and his miracle, and naturally god has different methods of expression for communicating with people, which are certainly the most complete ones, what are these methods of expression? How is it possible to use them in news?
Answer: You can refer to my book "Message of Qur'an", vol. 8, discussion of marvel of Qur'an in eloquence, from the page 87, or the book "Qur'an and the Last Prophet" for finding the methods of eloquence of Qur'an and using them for news reporting.

Characteristics of News Reporters [Journalist]

Question:Do persons who report the news and events have special conditions?
Answer: Yes, they have special conditions; reliability and trustworthiness, enough intelligence for comprehending the matters, strong memory for keeping and saving the matters and above all, impartiality and good intention and not polluting the news with personal taste are f r o m these conditions.

New Reporter to Rely on Others' Expressions [Journalist]

Question:How much a reporter is permitted to rely on the expressions of others, considering that it is not possible to reach the main source?
Answer: While it is not possible to reach the main source and certain evidences are not available, the news should be reported as possible news, not certain.

Method Achieving the Certainty about the News of an Event in which News Reporter was not Present [Journalist]

Question:Whenever a reporter was not present at a scene but he/she intends to report the news of that then how many witnesses are enough in order for the reporter to achieve the correctness of news?
Answer: If a reliable person reports the news then it is enough. But it is a precaution not to suffice to the expression of one person for important news.

To Rely on Women's Expressions in Reporting News [Journalist]

Question:Is there any difference between men and women in reporting news and testifying to an accident? Should it be acted according to the method of trials in this matter?
Answer: There is no difference in this matter between men and women.

Necessity of Observing Honesty in Summarization of News [Journalist]

Question:Lots of speeches, communiqués and interviews and like them have long texts, while the reporter has to summaries that. It is possible to go far f r o m the main subject or to imply another meaning in summarization. Is this act considered as malversation?
Answer: In case of changing the content, both lying and accusation are considered; but summarization and expressing the meaning doesn't have problem.

To Bribe for Taking News [Journalist]

Question:Is it permissible to bribe for taking news which is needed for regime?
Answer: If it is the only way and that news is needed then it doesn't have problem and it should not be called bribe.

Method of Recognizing the Reliability of News Reporter [Journalist]

Question:How is it possible to recognize the reliability of the reporter?
Answer: Reliability of the reporter can be achieved by association with him/her or testification of informed, wise and reliable persons.

News Reporter to Lie for the Expediency of the Regime [Journalist]

Question:The Late Imam (r.a.) said: "Sometimes, it is permitted to renounce some of obligatory acts for saving the regime". Is this matter also applicable to news? Is it also permissible for the reporter to lie for saving the regime?
Answer: If really the matter becomes in the way of important and more important, like lying for conciliation of two believers then it doesn’t have problem. But it should be abstained as much as possible, because it is possible that this ruling becomes the means of abusing and abusers broadcast false news with any excuse.

Characteristics of Reliable News [News]

Question:What are the characteristics of reliable news?
Answer: Reliable news can be recognized in some ways: First, through the reliability of the person who tells the news, which means that the person who brings the news is a reliable person. Second, through public acceptance, it means that although the teller is unknown but news has become famous among people in the way that certainty is achieved. Third, through the contents of news, which means the news is rational and evidential that it proves itself.

To Use Western Methods of News Process [News]

Question:Is it permissible to use western methods of news process which imply special messages by combining different information and is far f r o m the reality, like methods of "idea making", "signalization" or "information arrangement"? The explanation is that "idea making" is offering a goal-oriented image which follows a specific goal like the word "fundamentalism" that west uses for Islamists. "Signalization" is specifying the priorities of information according to the intended importance which follows the specific goal of implication of the message. "Information arrangement" is using the records of other matters and attaching them to this new subject which is creating a new message and implication of a thought and imposing a belief. Like that any explosion which happens anywhere in the world they ascribe it to Iran by mentioning the records of other explosions in which some people consider Iran as the performer.
Answer: If a legitimate and positive goal is being followed in this act then it doesn't have problem.

Limit of Revealing Classified News [News]

Question:How much people are privy to news? What is the limit of revealing classified news?
Answer: The limit of reveling that is to the point which doesn't make damage to the society.

Criterion for Recognizing Classified News [News]

Question:Which news should be considered normal and which news should be considered classified?
Answer: News which revealing them causes the abuse of aberrant persons, or awareness of enemy, or damages to the society, endangers the honor of a person or a group, or is revealing personal secrets of people are considered as classified news.

To Broadcast Counterfeit News [News]

Question:How much is it permitted to report counterfeit news? Could these kinds of news have a place in Islamic regime, even if observation of expediency of the regime or people is considered?
Answer: In these kinds of matters, more important expediency of regime and society should be considered.

Expediential Lie or Problem-Maker Truth [News]

Question:Which one is better, expediential lie or problem-maker truth?
Answer: If a truth makes problems and corruptions then it should be abstained, whether the lie has expediency or worthless. And by considering that this matter is based on the rule of important and more important, harmful effects of the lie and its benefits should be compared and the thing which is more important should be performed. Also, if it is possible to perform Tawriyah instead of lying then Tawriyah is prior. And the purpose of Tawriyah is an expression which has two meanings, the listener assumes a meaning which is not real and believes that and expediency is achieved, but the speaker assumes another meaning which is real.

Framework and Border of Criticism [News]

Question:Where is the border of criticism? If criticism is not accompanied by advice then what is its damage? Is it permissible for a reporter to criticize if he/she doesn't give an advice?
Answer: If criticism is accompanied by advice, surely it is better; but if the criticizer cannot make an advice then he/she should perform his duty of ordering to Ma'roof and prohibiting from Munkar.

Border between News and Propaganda [News]

Question:What is the border between news and propaganda in Islam?
Answer: There is no specific term for these two matters in Islamic jurisprudence. If it is used in the expressions of Faqihs then the purpose is the conventional meaning of them. News expresses realities but propaganda is for encouraging to a thing or an act.

Border between News and Propaganda [News]

Question:What is the border between news and propaganda in Islam?
Answer: There is no specific term for these two matters in Islamic jurisprudence. If it is used in the expressions of Faqihs then the purpose is the conventional meaning of them. News expresses realities but propaganda is for encouraging to a thing or an act.

News Censorship [News]

Question:Is censorship permitted in Islam? If it is then how is its limit? How is it possible to e x e c u t e that in Islamic society?
Answer: Any kind of news, which is harmful for the society, causes the awakening of the enemies or their abuse, makes separation among Muslims, expands disappointment, fear and pessimism or has any other effects like these effects, should not be broadcasted. Accordingly, during war much news are kept covered temporarily and become uncovered after removing the danger. This matter is also possible for other cases.

Degrees of Correctness and Incorrectness of News [News]

Question:Does correctness or incorrectness of news also have different types?
Answer: Yes, it is possible that news is one hundred percent false or fifty percent or less or more. Therefore, there are degrees of correctness and incorrectness of news.

Lenience and Toleration in the Field of News [News]

Question:What is the meaning of lenience and toleration in the field of news?
Answer: Lenience and toleration have different meanings. If the purpose is cooperation with oppositions of Islam and giving opportunity to enemies for attacking the friends then such thing is not permitted; but if the purpose is mutual communication with healthy groups or followers of other religions, in the way that it has no harm for Islam and Muslims then it is permitted.

Framework of News and Reports Analyzation [News]

Question:Is analyzing news and reports like the science of Tafsir (interpretation) in seminaries? Is it also permissible to specify a framework for news and report analyzation? What are these frameworks?
Answer: Usually, documents, evidences and experiences of similar matters should be used for analyzing the news. If they reach a certain result then they can judge certainly, otherwise the matter of possibility of the news should be accented, in order not to say a thing against the reality.

Contradiction of Expediencies of Regime and Islam in News [News]

Question:When appearance of news is against Islam and the nature of that has benefits for Islam (for example in economy and like that) then which one should news reporter prefer?
Answer: By considering that regime has been established based on Islam, such contradiction cannot be considered, except that some persons whether don't pay attention to Islamic issues or to the expediency of regime.

To Use Entertaining Programs for Saving the Islamic Values [News]

Question:Is it permissible to use entertaining and funny programs for the values of Islam and revolution and Islamic Fiqh?
Answer: It is perfectly possible, on the condition that enough precision is observed about the contents.

To Broadcast the News of Non-Muslim People [News]

Question:There are people in our society who are neither Muslim nor believe the revolution. What is our duty about broadcasting their issues, news and opinions?
Answer: Those things which weakens the regime or put public thoughts in chaos should be abstained and it is possible to broadcast those which are useful or at least harmless.

To Broadcast False News for Gratifying the Society [News]

Question:What is the limit of broadcasting gratifying news? Is it also permissible to express expediential lies for making the atmosphere of pleasure and gratification?
Answer: Gratification is not the permission of lying.
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