ʿAṢR-E JADĪD (New era), the name of several journals and a magazine published in Iran at various times.
1. A fortnightly, later weekly, journal published in Mašhad under the direction of Sayyed Ḥasan Mūsawī. Eighteen issues came out, the first in Rabīʿ I, 1328/January, 1910, the last on 16 Ḏu’l-qaʿda 1328/19 November 1910. This journal, which was lithographed, had from four to eight two-column pages measuring 32.5 x 17.5 cm. It provided news and social comments with a critical, progressive slant. Some copies are preserved in the Central Library of Tehran University and the Cambridge University Library.
2. A weekly, later thrice weekly, journal published in Tehran during World War I. The first issue was brought out, under a publication license held by Matīn-al-salṭana, on 12 Ḏu’l-qaʿda 1332/3 October 1914. From the start this journal provoked both favorable and unfavorable judgments.
ʿAbd-al-Ḥamīd Khan Ṯaqafī entitled Matīn-al-salṭana (1879-1917) had been educated at Oxford. His first journalistic venture had been an illustrated humorous magazine named Ṭolūʿ (Dawn) in Būšehr (1900). In 1902 he had published a journal of some repute named Moẓaffarī. After being elected to the Second Maǰles, he had served as its deputy speaker, and after its dissolution he had held official posts until he resigned over an accusation of embezzlement. On the outbreak of World War I he launched ʿAṣr-e ǰadīd with a content and format which had no precedent in the history of the Persian press. Its pro-Allied tone caused Matīn-al-salṭana to be seen by contemporary Iranian public opinion as guilty of anglophily. A terrorist group which called itself Komīta-ye Moǰāzāt (Punishment committee) placed his name on its blacklist and shot him dead at the office of ʿAṣr-e ǰadīd in the afternoon of 30 Raǰab 1335/22 May 1917 while he was at work on the leading article of issue no. 100, year 3. This was the second assassination perpetrated by the Komīta-ye Moǰāzāt and the first assassination of a journalist in Iran.
The contents of ʿAṣr-e ǰadīd were news and political comments, for the most part about events of the World War. Reports from Allied sources, mainly Reuter’s agency and British newspapers, were supplemented with explanations and remarks written by Matīn-al-salṭana. In addition, Matīn-al-salṭana obtained interviews with diplomatic representatives of the belligerent powers in Tehran and reported on them in ʿAṣr-e ǰadīd. These interviews were unprecedented in Iranian journalism. The format of ʿAṣr-e ǰadīd was simple and logical. A leading article, usually commenting on war events or on the Iranian government’s foreign policy, was always included. Latest reports of the war were inserted on the hack page.
Among those who contributed as translators or writers to ʿAṣr-e ǰadīd were Matīn-al-salṭana’s brother Aʿlam-al-dawla Ṯaqafī, Ḥabīballāh ʿAyn-al-molk (Hoveydā), Farroḵdīn Pārsa(y), Yaḥyā Rayḥān, and Saʿīd Nafīsī.
Up to the 42nd issue, ʿAṣr-e ǰadīd came out once a week on Saturday with twelve pages per issue; thereafter three times a week on alternate days with eight pages. The page size was always 42 x 29 cm with three columns per page. The price was eight šāhīs up to no. 42 and six šāhīs thereafter. For an annual subscription the rate was fifty-five qerāns in Tehran and sixty qerāns in the provinces.
Complete sets are held in the principal libraries of Iran, and some issues are available in the Cambridge University Library.
3. A political-literary journal which, according to the Revue du Monde Musulman (60, 1925, p. 34), was published in Tehran on 1 Qaws 1300/23 November 1921 and for some time after under the direction of Mīrza Esmāʿīl Ḵalafī.
4. A weekly journal published in Tehran in 1922-23. The license-holder and editor was Neẓām-al-dīn Nūrī. The contents were news and articles on political and miscellaneous subjects, and the format was four three column pages measuring 42 x 9 cm. The first issue came out on 19 Ḥūt 1300/10 March 1922; the last appears to have been year 2, no. 43, dated 10 Ḥamal 1302/31 March 1923.
Some of the issues are preserved in the Central Library of Tehran University and the Maǰles Library in Tehran.
5. An economic-commercial magazine published in Tehran from Deymāh, 1306/January, 1928, to 3 Ābān 1309/25 October 1930. According to its opening announcement, it was founded by Neẓām-al-dīn Nūrī and would be a continuation of the earlier journal of the same name (4 above). For most of its career it was a monthly magazine, but the last twenty issues came out weekly. Its manager and editor was Farroḵdīn Pārsā(y).
The magazine up to issue no. 67 was the official organ of the Tehran Chamber of Commerce and bore the following caption (in Persian and French): “Guide Commercial de la Perse: Organe Officiel de la Chambre de Commerce de Téhéran.” After the 67th issue, the magazine remained in being as an independent venture and included miscellaneous articles as well as economic material. From then onward both the number of the advertisements, which had previously occupied much of the space, and the number of the pages fell abruptly.
This ʿAṣr-e ǰadīd had 34-38 two-column pages measuring 26 x 19 cm. It contained illustration in addition to the advertisements, in which names and addresses were often given in French during the first six months and in English thereafter. The issues up to no. 52 were distributed free of charge. The price per copy was then fixed at one qerān and the annual subscription rate at one tūmān, but the price was subsequently changed several times, and in the last year subscribers were asked to pay between 25 and 50 qerāns per annum at their own discretion.
Sets of ʿAṣr-e ǰadīd are preserved in the Central Library of Tehran University, the Maǰles and National Libraries at Tehran.
M. Ṣadr Hāšemī, Tārīḵ-eǰarāʾed wa maǰallāt-e Īrān, 4 vols., Isfahan 1327-32 Š./1948-53; nos. 574, 803, 804, 806, 807.
E. G. Browne, Press and Poetry of Modern Iran, Cambridge, 1914, p. 119 (no. 256).
Ali Nô-rouze (Ḥasan Moqaddam), “Registre analytique annoté de la presse persane,” RMM 60, 1925, pp. 38, 41, 55 (nos. 23, 49, 234).
J. Tabrīzī, Asrār-e Komīta-ye Moǰāzāt, Tehran, 1362 Š./1983, pp. 17, 34-39.
M. Bāmdād, Reǰāl II, Tehran, 1357 Š./1978, p. 260.
J. Solḥǰū, Tārīḵ-emaṭbūʿāt-e Īrān wa ǰahān, Tehran, 1348 Š./1969, pp. 226-29.
Mowarreḵ-al-dawla Sepehr, Īrān dar ǰang-e bozorg, 1914-1918, Tehran, 1336 Š./1957, pp. 167-68, 337-42.
L. Bouvat, “La presse à Téhéran en 1915,” RMM 30, 1915, pp. 275-76.
H. L. Rabino, Ṣūrat-e ǰarāʾed-e Īrān wa ǰarāʾed-ī ka dar ḵāreǰ-e Īrān be-zabān-e fārsī čāp šoda ast, Rašt, 1911, no. 12.
M. T. Bahār, Tārīḵ-emoḵtaṣar-e aḥzāb-e sīāsī I, Tehran, 1323 Š./1944, p. 15.
Originally Published: December 15, 1987
Last Updated: August 17, 2011
This article is available in print.
Vol. II, Fasc. 8, pp. 793-794