What is it?
As a printed magazine, Peivast is running against the flow of digitization. The
magazine’s focus on developments in Information and Communications Technology
(ICT) makes the choice of print medium particularly remarkable. The founders
believe the physical presence of the 180 pages, full-color hardcopy suits their
target market, which they consider to be “the decision makers of Iran.”
“If you are a manager in ICT in Iran, this is your bible,” says CEO Arash Barahmand. Peivast is a magazine someone wants to have on his or her desk during a meeting, with subscribers including important players in the private and governmental sectors.
The quality of the content is another reason to produce old fashioned print editions. “Peivast is famous for running long stories.” The online trend of short stories, published as quickly as possible, made the founders decide to try something different. “We take a month to write about a story,” says Barahmand. “People have heard of news events, but wait for us to get the real insights.”
Why did they make it?
Peivast was started by three friends after they were fired from their previous positions writing for magazines. They decided to launch their own start-up magazine in order to be their own bosses. They found an angel investor who contributed starting capital. As Barahmand explains, “this investor’s company focuses on the pharmaceutical industry, so therefore he does not have a special interest in political uses of the magazine. We are lucky with that.”
However, the investor did have a goal with Peivast. His vision is to enlighten the Iranian public on how to start their own business in the ICT-market. The magazine became a platform that informs a younger generation of ICT-workers about it's history, faces, and power relations in the ICT-market of Iran. With articles on the impact of censorship and the empowerment of users, the magazine tries to inform its public about various urgent issues and debates.
The founders decided to write about a niche market where political interference is less likely. “By focusing on this niche”, Barahmand explains, “we can write more freely compared to working for a general newspaper. We try to stay neutral and out of politics by delivering stories from different perspectives and ideas.”
The magazine is illustrated with cartoons
about the digital world, including those addressing the negative side
of technology from an ironic perspective.
The founders believe ICT development is more than just technology. “In Iran, information technology is changing the way people think. It is changing our culture and society.”
Why did we select it?
In the essay “The Future of Journalism: Networked
Journalism” (published on this website) the writers state that due to
“technological changes journalism is being transformed in the ways it is used
and produced. These developments are paving a path towards better journalism
and towards more independent journalists.”
Peivast is both a confirmation and denial of this theory: while the founders chose technology as their subject due to its disruptive character, they also believe journalism needs thoroughly researched, with well-written, lengthy pieces in print in order to successfully connect with their audience. As a successful combination of old world journalism and new world subject matter, it sheds new light on what works as journalism in Iran today.