Rundt 85 % av tyrkiske journalister sier at sensur og selvsensur er tungt til stede i tyrkiske medier. Det viser en undersøkelse. De resterende sier det er ganske vanlig.

A high percentage of journalists in Turkey accept that there is censorship and self-censorship in the Turkish media, a recent report prepared by Istanbul Bilgi University Professor Esra Arsan has revealed.

After surveying 67 journalists from various media outlets, such as Milliyet, Hürriyet, Zaman, Taraf, Sabah, Habertürk and Sözcü, roughly 85 percent of the journalists said censorship and self-censorship are definitely common in the Turkish media. Nearly 14 percent said it was fairly common.

When it comes to the actors intervening in the news-making process, 95 percent of the journalists surveyed said the government intervenes; 89 percent said the media-owners do. The report also highlighted the change in the shift of power actors that intervene in the news-making process. The report said in the past the military had a strong influence on controlling news stories; now the power seems to have shifted toward the police.

«This was one of the most interesting outcomes in the report for me,» Arsan, who acts as the Media and Communication Systems Program coordinator at Bilgi University, told the Daily News. «I was expecting the military influence to be diminished, yet I didn’t expect it to be replaced by the police and religious groups.»

The survey also asked the journalists whether they ever soften the tone of their stories or soften what subjects believe are most censored.

According to the report, while more than 50 percent said they softened their tone because they are afraid of government and media boss pressure, roughly 64 percent said they were afraid that they might be taken to court for the content of their articles.

When asking what topics journalists think are most censored, 92 percent said relationship between the media-owners. Meanwhile, 67 percent said stories that cause other journalists to go to jail are censored. None of the surveyed journalists disagreed with stories about the gathering of religious groups in state affairs being censored.

Arsan said she finished the report a couple of months before the June 12 general elections. Forty-one percent of the surveyed journalists were in higher positions, such as head editors, while 25 percent were editors and 10 were columnists.

«I made a list of head editors, columnists and reporters who were experts in their fields and who were from media outlets with different perspectives. Although the number of participants may not sound high, they were people whom I think have a large influence on Turkish media.»

The report also contained civil disobedience acts, such as protests against hydro power plants, Internet bans or disobedience acts of Kurdish groups in Turkey, and underlines that to sustain a healthy society these acts should be recognized by the media.

The report also talked about the lack of unionization among journalists, citing that only 21 percent of the people who took the survey were members of the Journalists Union. Also, 89 percent said the legal regulations protecting media freedom were not enough.


Turkish Journalists Aware of Media Censorship, Survey Reveals