Now, as Aseman’s publisher Abbas Bozorgmehr spends the 20-21 February Iranian weekend in Evin prison following a revocation of the newspaper’s license, that transformation seems more toothless than its readers had imagined. Still, Aseman’s short-lived existence presented the national print media market with a progressive journalistic model. Not only did Aseman help define the new line between “taboo” and “fit to print” within the ambivalent ideological constraints of the Islamic republic; it also introduced a balanced, visually friendly publication that catered to the Iranian public’s hunger for in-depth news coverage and showed that, even after eight years of systemic repression under President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, Iran’s beleaguered press still has the ability to produce high-quality journalism.

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