Despite being blocked by the Iranian authorities since 2009, Deutsche Welle's news website in Farsi has a growing user base. It is ranked among DW’s most successful language sites.
Within a few years, DW's Persian Department has managed to transform its website into one of Deutsche Welle's most visited pages. It offers its readers uncensored news and information on significant international issues as well as on political developments in Iran, among others the Iranian nuclear program.
Providing independent and reliable information, DW’s news site in Farsi targets Persian speaking audiences around the world, particularly those in Iran, Afghanistan, Tajikistan, Iraq and the United Arab Emirates.
"We can be happy and proud about this great success," commented Jamsheed Faroughi, head of the DW Persian Department. "It's mostly due to the large amount of effort put in every day by our dedicated team and the support of an interested audience."
Launched in 2010, the site's interactive platform, titled Ru da Ru (Face to Face), provides the users with opportunities for participation and exchange, giving access to social networking sites like Facebook and Twitter, as well as to DW's Farsi channel on YouTube. Meanwhile, DW journalists, including three well-known bloggers from Iran, discuss sensitive topics like human rights on DW Blog, and users are encouraged to set up their own blogs on Guest Blog.
The platform also hosts photography competitions and online photography courses. A training program for citizen journalists has recently been launched.
"I want to thank you for your work, because due to the censorship here we receive a lot of false information," wrote one Iran-based user recently. "Although loading your page is made more difficult for us by a filter, we try to find ways to get around this."
Half a century of programming
The DW Persian Department was founded in1962, nine years after Deutsche Welle first went on air. It initially produced radio content, covering important transformations and tensions such as the Islamic Revolution in 1979 and the Iran-Iraq war in the 1980s. The DW Persian website was set up in 1996 and expanded in 2001 due to the Internet's growing popularity among Iranians.
Since 2011, the DW Persian Department has focused exclusively on online content with integrated multimedia components, which are very popular with its young target audiences.