For those who don't make a habit of tuning in to Sky's channel 515, Press TV is the Iranian state's English language television news channel. The channel's anti-semitic and anti-working class news values are repugnant and its stories never record the sufferings and privations of ordinary Iranian people. In recent years, however, the channel's broadcasts have exposed the crimes and dirty dealings of the British and US states. Indeed, Press TV has been for several years the only news channel to offer a critical perspective on Western power. As an article about the Ofcom decision on the Press TV website points out:
"As an alternative international media outlet, Press TV took pains to break the mainstream media's total silence on the violations of international law and human rights committed by the UK government at home and abroad.
A telling example of these violations is the British government's violent crackdown on peaceful student protests in November 2010 against massive cuts to spending on higher education as well as on the huge social protests which broke out in cities across Britain in early August 2011.
On the international level, Press TV highlighted the UK government's measure to sell a considerable quantity of arms to autocratic Arab states in the Middle East and North Africa such as Bahrain, Libya and many other despotic regimes in the region, in order to help them crush the pro-democracy protests there. The British government also sanctioned the sale of a number of crowd control products to the Bahraini regime including CS hand grenades, demolition charges, smoke canisters and thunder-flashes."
Of course, coming from the cheerleaders of Iran's oppressive theocratic régime, Press TV's self-congratulatory tone may rankle; but on which television news channel other than Press TV has it been possible to find out about such things (apart, perhaps, from Russia Today)? Predictably, Press TV's readiness to air their criticisms of the West had put the channel under enormous pressure from the British establishment lately, as Wikileaks documents suggest. Moreover, as Chris Bamberry points out, the channel had been becoming rather popular in recent years among those seeking critical perspectives on the British state. So it comes as no great surprise that Press TV's London operations have been brought to an end. Fresh from its successful humbling of the pro-US Murdoch media, the British establishment appears to have successfully muzzled yet another rival imperialist power.