Banafsheh Ranji

Banafsheh Ranji

  • University of Oslo
  • Media and Communication
Participant in 2015
Work history ●September 2013- present, member of the editorial board of (cultural and
Literary website).
●May 2014- August 2014, Journalist at SAMT newspaper.
● October 2013- May 2014, Journalist at Arman newspaper.
● April_ June 2013, Research Assistant. Child foundation Project, Iran.
●January 2013-April 2013, Journalist and photographer at Helsinki Times newspaper.
●2010- 2011, teacher at KIANA NGO (non-governmental organization for labor children).
● 2010-2011, Journalist and photographer, Gozaresh magazine, Tehran, Iran.
● 2007-2008, Journalist and reporter, Iranian Students News Agency (ISNA),Tehran,
● 2007-2010, Proprietor, manager and columnist of a student newspaper (PEGAH),Tehran University, Iran.
Study history ● Present: PhD student. Media and Global Communication, University of Helsinki, Finland.
● 2011-2013: Master. Media and Global Communication, University of Helsinki, Finland.
● 2006-2010 Bachelor. Social communications sciences, University of Tehran, Iran.

Phd Projects


Censorship resistance: Iranian professional journalists' use of social media as an alternative channel

Iran is a not-free country, media are controlled by the government, and journalists face restrictions and censorship. Also, Iran has a not free status in freedom of net. In these circumstances, some Iranian professional dissident journalists use social media as an alternative means to bypass the limitations they face in their daily job in established media, and distribute what is censored and underrepresented in the mainstream media. On the other hand, online activities of journalists are kept under surveillance that poses severe online and offline security risks on them; this may also provide a reason for some journalists to avoid using social media or participate with anonymous identities.
The main subject of the study is to explore how Iranian professional journalists, working in media inside Iran, utilize digital communication, in particular social media, as an alternative channel to challenge the mainstream media publishing. The study also seeks to answer: how social media offer Iranian journalists the opportunities to bypass governmental control and mainstream media censorship? How their personal and professional lives are affected by their usage? And why do some Iranian journalists avoid utilizing social media?
The importance of this study lies on the particular condition of freedom of expression, journalism and media in Iran as a non-democratic context. Another important aspect of this research is offering journalists a chance to use their own voices in addition to the already existing literature. In addition to the the theoretical contribution of the study, the findings will also help Iranian journalists to gain a better understanding of their situation, so to empower themselves to operate freely without fear and serve public interest.
The theoretical framework of the study is based on the theories of “alternative media” as the media in an antagonism relationship to mainstream media. The theoretical framework also includes the previous literature on alternative media practices as a form of resistance to censorship, hegemony and power. Previous literature on alternative journalism practices through social media in authoritarian contexts as well as the literature on freedom of expression and safety of journalism in digital communication will also be reviewed.
For this study a qualitative research method is chosen. Since the aim of the research is to gain an understanding of the journalists’ experiences, the method for collecting the main material of the study is face to face, in-depth, and semi-structured interviews with about 40 journalist who work in media inside Iran. The data will be analyzed through thematic analysis method.

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