BEŠĀRAT (Glad tidings), a weekly Persian journal of news and political comment published at Mašhad in 1325/1907. It was Mašhad’s first newspaper after Adab had been transferred to Tabrīz and was one of many that appeared in Iran after the proclamation of constitutional government. In the masthead on the front page it described itself as Toḥfat al-rażawīya (Gift from the city of Imam Reżā). The exact dates of the first and last issues of Bešārat are uncertain. If the numbering of the issues and the interval between each are taken into account, the first issue must have come out late in 1324/early 1907, as stated by E. G. Browne (p. 55); but the surviving copies all bear dates in the masthead from the year 1325/1907 and must have been printed in that year. The 28th issue, dated 22 Jomādā I 1325/27 June 1907, is the last of the copies held in the library of the Majles-e Šūrā-ye Eslāmī (formerly the Senate) at Tehran.
Bešārat’s manager was Shaikh Moḥammad ʿAlī, then headmaster of the Moẓaffarī school at Mašhad, and its office was on that school’s premises. He was also the founder of Mašhad’s first modern-style educational institution, the Hemmat school. The newspaper’s editor was at first Mīrzā ʿAzīz-Allāh Faṣīḥ-al-Mamālek, later Mīrzā ʿAlī Khan. The assistant manager was Mīrzā Bāqer Khan.
Most of Bešārat’s space was devoted to news, particularly of Khorasan. Its announced promise to “discuss political events and national and governmental affairs of every kind” was faithfully kept. In judging its achievement, allowance should be made for the fact that it was the pioneer of journalism at Mašhadand its contributors evidently lacked previous experience in the field.
Bešārat had four pages measuring 22 x 25 cm with two columns per page. There were few advertisements, and no illustrations. The annual subscription rate was twelve qerāns at Mašhad and fifteen qerāns elsewhere in Iran.
Scattered copies of Bešārat are preserved in the Reżā ʿAbbāsī Museum at Tehran, the libraries of the former National Parliament and Senate, the Central Library of Tehran University, the Cambridge University library, and the Bibliothèque Nationale, Paris.
E. G. Browne, The Press and Poetry of Modern Persia, Cambridge, 1914.
M. Ṣadr Hāšemī, Tārīḵ-e jarāyed wa majallāt-e Īrān, Isfahan, 1327-32 Š./1948-53, II, p. 16.
“Nouveaux journaux persans,” Revue du monde musulman 6, 1907, p. 248.
Originally Published: December 15, 1989
Last Updated: December 15, 1989
This article is available in print.
Vol. IV, Fasc. 2, pp. 170-171