Representation of the Destruction of Cultural and Historical Works and Buildings in Local Newspapers of Shiraz



Received: 17/01/2017

Accepted: 17/03/2017

Introduction: In today’s world, the development of press is considered as one of the criteria of social-cultural development. The activity of press in propagation of news and cultural-training contents is one of the information products. Cultural journalism is used as an expression for media reports and discussions on culture, art, politics, general culture, cultural industries and recreation.

One of the training aspects of social media in cultural domain is describing the importance of cultural heritage for the audiences.

The social media can make the audiences (both people and policy makers) sensitive and responsible about caring and protecting the cultural heritages. Informing the people about the necessity of protecting the historical works and buildings by media depends on propagating the news containing information on the importance of historical works and buildings, and also covering the events which are about cultural heritages of our country.

Based on the official statistics of the organization of cultural heritages in Fars province, in this province, there are up to 3500 historical works and buildings which are registered in the Iran’s national works list, among them, 4 works are registered in UNESCO. The statistics shows that 9 percent of historical buildings of Iran are located in Fars province.

Historical buildings in Fars have experienced many damages in recent years, which are resulted from natural factors such as flood, precipitation and earthquake, or human interventions such as road construction and other developmental projects, which expose the historical building to destruction.

Destruction of historical buildings in Fars has been sometimes more extensive, such as road construction in Shiraz which have led to destruction of about 90 historical houses.

The present study tried to show how the local media in Shiraz manage the news on important events in this field. The main aim of this study was to evaluate the news propagated on this field from the viewpoint of their quality and quantity. We tried to find out how local newspapers in Shiraz covered the news on historical buildings from 2014 to 2015, what their content and structural properties were, and which aspects received the most attentions.

Theoretical basics and research methodology: Social media defines democracy, and they can introduce people of the society as predictable ones, or otherwise, as people who participate in the affairs of a capitalist society. The social communication institution has been considered as a channel for defining culture, politics and economy in a society since the formation of western civilization. The media gives meaning to the body and image of a society, and contributes to showing the people as a group. In fact, today no one can imagine a society without media. The theoretical fundamental of this research was based on theories such as representation theory of Stewart Hall, news goal keeping, and the theory of outstanding. The methodology of tis research was quantitative content analysis.

Seven topics were defined for the present study. The indigenous thoughts were considered for collecting the topics, and news content was defined according to the local extension of news. It seems that content analysis is the best method for studying the function of the intended media because studying the details of propagated news can represent a clear image of a newspaper function. The statistical population of the present study was the news propagated in local newspaper of Shiraz including Afsaneh, Sobhan, Khabar-e-Jonoob, Asr-e-Mardom and NimNegah from 2014 to 2015. The authors studied variables as properties of massage and text. Validity and reliability of the research were also studied, and Scott coefficient of 0.89 was obtained.

Findings: The results showed that the newspaper Khabar-e-Jonoob, which had 113 news pieces on a given subject, had the highest plenitude in content production, and Sobhan newspaper, with nine news, had the lowest news. Our findings show that the most news on historical works are related to destruction of historical buildings, and the least news were about historical cities. Moreover, all studied newspapers, except Khabar-e-Jonoob, do not have a specific paper for propagating the news on cultural heritages, and they present the related news on general pages. Our findings show that governmental institutions and general public were introduced as the main causes of historical works destruction in the newspapers.

Discussions and Results: the supervision role of media is not only important at the time of occurrence of an event, but also after the event and also before that. We found that when a destruction in historical works and buildings occur, the newspaper just report the event just like an ordinary observer after the accident, while they are responsible to monitor the changes in the field of historical works, and decisions of government on prevention of such destruction, and they should have an active role in producing the media content. In this way, the newspapers cannot play a significant role in stopping the destructions. We also observed that in all five studied newspapers, the events about historical building destruction in Fars are just reported after the accident occurrence, and the reporters do not follow them.

Achievements of the study: Our findings showed that the audiences receive the least amount of information from the local newspapers of Fars about events such as destruction of Fars cultural-historical works. It indicates the presence of many defects in the process of news goal keeping. The lack of special papers for tourism in Fars local newspapers shows that they do not follow the cultural heritage journalism skillfully, and they have not been successful in presenting sufficient information to their audiences, while they are working in a city, which possess a large part of Iran’s historical heritage and monuments.