A group of pro-reform journalists formed Shargh (East) newspaper in the
summer of 2003, during Iran’s Media Spring. Many of the writers at Shargh used to write for the Hamshahri newspapers magazine, entitled Hamshahri Month. Mohammad Ghoochani was the editor in charge at Hamshahri Month and later became editor of Shargh. In the early years of its publication, Shargh sold the highest number of copies amongst privately owned Iranian newspapers. The paper’s audience was recognizedas cultured and intellectual. The government has shut down the newspaper on a number of occasions, however each time it was permitted to resume publishing.