Fans of Breakfast With News, RFE/RL’s Persian Language Satellite TV broadcast, woke up to a scrambled screen April 8. The daily, one-hour news and analysis show is produced by RFE/RL’s Persian Language Service, Radio Farda, and aired on Voice of America’s satellite channel.
After being alerted by viewers, Radio Farda confirmed the satellite signal has for the last 12 days been jammed in Tehran and other large cities in Iran, and only during the normal broadcast time of Morning With News. The audio of the popular program is broadcast on AM and short wave radio, and is so far unblocked.
Even though Facebook is blocked in Iran, Radio Farda’s Facebook page has over 1.5 million fans. Audiences must use proxy servers to access both Facebook and Radio Farda’s website.
Family members of Radio Farda staff have been interrogated, coerced, and threatened by secret police in more than 20 incidents between 2012-2015. Iran has set up phony websites and social media profiles to discredit Farda reporting, and has targeted Farda journalists in over 15 documented cases of on-line harassment.