Reza Sayah
Journalist and Filmmaker


The news media play a big role in our lives. The news media are how we keep and eye on the world and how we make sense of complicated issues and far away places. The news media are supposed to hold the powerful accountable, define our threats, and give us accurate information so we can form opinions and make decisions. But is the news media’s number one priority to inform you? Or does they have another objective that we may not be aware? Veteran broadcast journalist Reza Sayah explains why the news media’s objective isn’t always to inform you with news you need, and why it’s more important than ever to consume the news with a critical eye.

Reza Sayah is a journalist and filmmaker based in Tehran. For the past 20 years, Reza has reported for international news organizations including CNN, Al Jazeera, and France 24. Most recently, Sayah reported on this year’s Iranian presidential elections for American news network PBS. In 2008, he helped launch CNN’s bureau in Islamabad, Pakistan where for the next five years he reported on the country’s ongoing political turmoil, the government campaign against the Taliban, and the search for Al Qaeda leader Osama Bin Laden. In 2013, Sayah moved to Cairo, Egypt where he covered the crisis that followed the Egyptian revolution, the uprising that toppled former president Mohammad Morsy, and the election of current president Abdel Fattah Al Sisi. Sayah has also covered the conflicts in Afghanistan, Libya, Syria, and Ukraine. Prior to working for CNN, he spent more than ten years reporting for major news networks in the United States where he covered the 2000 and 2004 US presidential elections, numerous natural disasters, and the attacks of 9/11. In 2015, he moved back to Tehran where he co-founded Ravi Films – a production company that specializes in documentary films, broadcast news reports, and video storytelling. Throughout his career Sayah has seen first-hand the powerful impact of the news media on culture, society, and how we think. He’s also learned why – now more than ever - it’s important to be critical thinkers while consuming news.