Reza Khan attempted to modernize Iran according to western standards after he seized leadership in the country following the 19299 coup. He continued his modernization approach in four dimensions: military, political, social, and economic. This resulted in several gains for the society and drew it out of its traditional status, but the modernization process itself posed a threat to traditional-religious and customary norms. Consideration can be given to executive modernization during the reign of Reza Shah and society’s response to it from the perspective of various socioeconomic classes of the same era. In the modern history of Iran, however, the press is a fundamental pillar of civil society, and its perspective reflects the views of many classes of society, including reformers, intellectuals, and the masses of people, about the changes and developments of contemporary history. In this study, the attitude of the Isfahan-based Akhgar newspaper is analyzed. Since Isfahan is one of the country’s most important cities, second only to Tehran in terms of its commercial, religious, and cultural significance, many responses to the modernization process are illustrated. Additionally, this is one of the most significant newspapers published in Isfahan at this time.
This study investigates the stance of the Akhgar-Isfahan daily on Reza Shah’s efforts to incorporate modern western models into Iranian society by addressing the following crucial question.
The present study employs a descriptive-analytical research approach, relying on the press as a primary source of that era in addition to later sources and research. Since Reza Khan became Minister of War, censorship has cast a shadow over the world of press, and between the coup and the rule, the Literary people were subject to various constraints on expressing their opinions due to disagreement to certain of Reza Khan’s activities. During the reign of Reza Shah, this subject was closely monitored. Due to the climate of tyranny and the strict censorship of the press during Reza Shah’s absolutist rule, the press only hailed his reforms and did not permit any criticism of the ruler’s acts. In the Isfahan newspapers, if there is any opposition: Some of Reza Shah’s measures were quite minor, and after a short amount of time, these criticisms transformed into favorable comments.
The Akhgar newspaper, Isfahan, Novin Sazi, and Reza Shah are key terms.