BĀḴTAR, the name of (1) a Persian educational magazine published at Isfahan in 1312 Š./1933-1314 Š./1935 and (2) a Persian political newspaper published at Isfahan and Tehran from 1314 Š./1935 to 1324 Š./1945. (On the word bāḵtar see above.)

(1) The educational magazine was launched at Isfahan in Āḏar, 1312 Š./November, 1933. The publication license was held by Naṣr-Allāh Sayfpūr Fāṭemī, and the editorship was entrusted to Amīrqolī Amīnī, then editor of the newspaper Aḵgar. Technical and administrative assistance was provided by Aḵgar and literary and scholarly advice was given by the eminent poet Moḥammad-Taqī Bahār (Malek-al-Šoʿarāʾ), who was then living in internal exile at Isfahan. Some of Bahār’s poems were published for the first time in Bāḵtar. He also contributed scholarly articles, including a series headed “Ferdowsī” about recent research on the Šāh-nāma and its author and one headed “Bāḵtar Means North.” In addition to Bahār, a number of other writers, scholars, and poets, mostly resident at Tehran, sent articles or pieces to Isfahan for publication in Bāḵtar (Ṣadr Hāšemī, no. 267). Reports of world scientific advances were also included in Bāḵtar, and political aspects were not neglected. The magazine supported Reżā Shah Pahlavī and his policies and invariably had the slogan “God, Shah, Country” printed on the back of the cover.

Bāḵtar usually had 82 pages measuring 18 x 33 cm with one column per page. Illustrations and advertisements filled part of the space. The annual subscription rate was 40 rials, with a 25 percent reduction for military personnel, students, and subscribers to Aḵgar. Altogether 31 issues were brought out, the last one being dated Mehr, 1314 Š./October, 1935. Sets are preserved in libraries in Iran, and some copies are held in the library of the School of Oriental and African Studies of the University of London.

(2) After closing down the educational magazine, Naṣr-Allāh Sayfpūr Fāṭemī launched a journal of news and political comment at Isfahan under the same title Bāḵtar. The editor was his brother Ḥosayn Fāṭemī. Initially it was printed once a week, later three times a week, at Isfahan; but from 10 Tīr 1321 Š./1 July 1942 onward it was printed at Tehran, and soon after that date it was transformed into an afternoon daily. In this last period the licensee ceased to involve himself directly or regularly in the management of the newspaper and left all its business in the hands of the editor, Ḥosayn Fāṭemī (the future Minister of Foreign Affairs in Dr. Moḥammad Moṣaddeq’s cabinet). Beside home and foreign news and comments on current affairs, Bāḵtar carried items on a wide range of subjects. Politically it did not follow a definite line but frequently changed course.

Publication of Bāḵtar came to a halt in Farvardīn, 1324 Š./April, 1945, because most of the editorial staff were away on long journeys abroad. In Ḵordād/June of the same year some issues were brought out as substitutes for another Tehran newspaper, Āzād. Four years later Ḥosayn Fāṭemī started the much better-known newspaper Bāḵtar-e emrūz under a separate publication license. An issue of Bāḵtar-e emrūz was published under the title Bāḵtar in Mordād, 1329 Š./August, 1950, when Bāḵtar-e emrūz was subject to a ban.

The newspaper Bāḵtar had four pages measuring 35 x 48 cm with four columns per page. Its price was thirty šāhīs at the start and one rial in the last year. Sets are preserved in the Majles Library, the Central Library of Tehran University, and the University and Municipal Libraries at Isfahan. The Library of Congress in Washington holds an incomplete set.

Bibliography : M. Ṣadr Hāšemī, Tārīḵ-ejarāʾed wa majallāt-e Īrān, Isfahan, 1327 Š./1948-1332 Š./1953, nos. 267-68. R. Lescot, “Notes sur la presse iranienne,” REI 2-3, 1939, p. 273. L. P. Elwell-Sutton, “The Iranian Press, 1941-1947,” Iran 6, 1968, no. 97.

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 باختر bakhtar baakhtar  


(N. Parvīn)

Originally Published: December 15, 1988

Last Updated: December 15, 1988

This article is available in print.
Vol. III, Fasc. 5, p. 540