Turkish and German journalists met in the southern Antalya province on May 9-10 to discuss journalism and ethics as well as the future of the profession, in a two-day program.
Organized by the German Embassy, the program offered an insightful forum for Turkish and German journalists from different newspapers, magazines and TV stations.
The first day of the program was designed to question whether citizen journalism poses a threat to conventional journalism. Both Turkish and German journalists agreed that the participation of citizens in journalism has transformed many aspects of what is known as conventional journalism.
The fact that anyone who has a smartphone or a tablet anywhere in the world can instantly become a journalist has reshaped the way people perceive the business of media, the journalists said.
Stressing that media groups and TV stations are pursuing the goal of quickly releasing news before authenticating it, the journalists underscored that it downgrades the profession of journalism nowadays. The discussion also led to the questioning of how fake news, which occupies a prominent position in the U.S., can be prevented.
The journalists also discussed what members of the media can do in the face of extremist tendencies that are born out of hate speech. The journalists agreed that a member of the media should conduct research and try to understand the ideas that the other party is actually putting forward as an argument. In addition, some journalists asserted that media outlets should abstain from labeling people according to their ethnicity, religion or background.
On the second day of the program, the journalists participated in a day-long workshop. Working together with a human rights coach, the journalists looked for answers to questions such as how the media can better human rights around the world. Also, the journalists discussed whether media organisations can violate human rights by spreading certain news.
The question of how hate speech and the instigation of hatred towards minorities can be punished was also discussed. The journalists unanimously held that the responsibility falls on the shoulders of members of the media to fulfill the aforementioned goal.
Apart from the two-day program, Turkish and German journalists based in Turkey discussed the latest developments in the region, and Turkish-German bilateral relations as well as the ties between Ankara and Brussels.
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