(May 13, 2013) “Five in the Afternoon,” the Persian-language weekly podcast hosted by prominent Iranian satirist Kambiz Hosseini and sponsored and produced by the International Campaign for Human Rights in Iran, has won the Bobs Reporters Without Borders User Award presented by Deutsche Welle.
Deutsche Welle’s Bobs awards honor websites advocating for freedom of expression. The Reporters Without Borders User Award, which the human rights–themed satirical podcast “Five in the Afternoon” won with over 40,000 votes, specifically recognizes those who stand for freedom of information and expression throughout the world.
Hosted by popular Iranian actor and satirist Kambiz Hosseini, “Five in the Afternoon” covers news and developments on human rights in Iran every Friday at 5:00 p.m. Iran time, and includes interviews with prominent Iranians both inside and outside the country. Since its inception on January 25, 2013, over a million people have listened to the podcast, including more than 150,000 downloads just on soundcloud.com, where the podcast is initially posted each week.
“Hosting and writing this podcast has been an exquisite experience for me, coming from a TV background, and has let me explore aspects of this new medium and the sophistications of communicating with a mass audience via voice, and solely voice,” Kambiz Hosseini said. “I dedicate this award to my audience, who have supported me passionately and constructively from the time I started my career. They are the ones that make this happen and my major source of inspiration and admiration, the people of Iran.”
The podcast is primarily disseminated online, but it is also being downloaded, copied to CDs, and distributed inside Iran.
“We are very pleased Mr. Hosseini, in such a short time, has drawn the attention of such a large audience of Iranians to human rights issues. His art and wit are unmatched and he is a great cultural asset who is placing his art in the service of human rights,” said Hadi Ghaemi, executive director of the Campaign.
In the podcast, Hosseini speaks for those living in Iran whose voices are silenced by the Iranian authorities’ fierce crackdown on free expression. Hosseini’s weekly podcasts tie together common-sense issues that ordinary Iranians might discuss in informal gatherings with reviews of the prior week’s news, pinpointing hypocrisy, corruption, injustice, and human rights violations. The show’s 30-45 minutes include an introduction, a review of news of the week, satirical social commentary, and “the last word,” in which Hosseini performs a monologue in a conversational style. The show also includes 10 minutes of an interview with a prominent Iranian, including recently from outside Iran 2003 Nobel laureate Shirin Ebadi, and from within Iran Reza Khandan, the husband of imprisoned human rights lawyer Nasrin Sotoudeh. The extended interview plus a transcript is posted the following week on the Campaign’s website. In every interview, Hosseini asks questions raised by his audience on his and the Campaign’s Facebook page.
“Five in the Afternoon” can be streamed directly online, downloaded, and shared without charge.