Irony and hypocrisy in a package deal

İSMAIL SELIM EŞSIZ
Published 28.06.2015 23:12

Journalism is undoubtedly one of the most organized global professions, with numerous foundations, watchdogs and activists working to ensure free and democratic media around the world. While we see journalism as having a unified purpose during some critical events, some events are simply ignored by the same organizations. However, if we are to claim we are working to achieve accountable journalism for all, we simply can't pick and choose the cases that we condemn or bring into the international spotlight. There was such a case two days ago, and we have yet to hear a worldwide outcry or even a statement from these freedom houses, watchdogs and organizations.

On June 25, four journalists accompanied by several activists traveled to Jerusalem to attend a charity event, yet they were detained without any justifiable reason. Ülke TV Editor-in-Chief Hasan Öztürk and Star newspaper columnist Halime Gökçe were also deported following being detained. The remaining two were Özden Avyaz and Hüseyin Günay from the state-run Turkish Radio and Television Corporation (TRT); they were detained as well but later permitted to enter. The remaining activists, including Civil Servants› Trade Union (Memur-Sen) Vice President Levent Uslu and four others, were deported. While this is problematic as well, let's focus on the journalism crisis in order to stay within the boundaries of the purpose of this page.Since the relationship between Turkey and Israel has been strained for some time, the decision to detain and deport Turkish citizens takes on the appearance of being political rather than reflecting the official vague and dubious statement of "security reasons." Indeed, the lack of voice coming from international organizations on the matter seems hypocritical nonetheless.

Speaking of hypocrisy, earlier this week six major German newspapers (Die Welt, Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung, Süddeutsche Zeitung, Stern, Der Spiegel and FOCUS) decided to print the same headline on a news article about possible coalition scenarios and President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan's remarks on the issue. Considering that international media have continuously criticized many newspapers in Turkey concerning similar headlines over the past year, the current situation seems somewhat ironic to a critical eye. For further insight on the story you can check out Daily Sabah's article "6 German newspapers target Erdoğan with the same headline."Lastly, our section would like to instill a new standard for this page over the "top 10 most-read articles on Daily Sabah" section of Reader's Corner. At the end of every month, we will analyze the previous four Top 10 lists to grasp the tendencies of our readers on their choice of content. Since this is the first time we are doing this, we will only look at two categories: The sections the articles on the Top 10 lists were from and how many columns managed to enter the list both during the election hype and beyond.

The distribution of news articles from this month that managed to enter the top 10 showed a clear majority from the Politics section with 18 instances. This was followed by the Lifestyle, Regional and National sections with three news articles each. World had two and Business as well as the Editorial sections had one each. Considering this was an election month and the Politics section manages to cover a wide variety of content, the high number is understandable. Whether this will change or not, we will see next month.As for the columns, there were seven entries in total throughout the month. When we break the month into weeks, we see them grouped in two particular weeks. The first was the election week, June 1-7. There are three columns that managed to be the most read on the website, but it appears the columns do not owe their success to the elections alone. After all, the next big surge in Column readership occurred this week, as four of them were featured on the list. Since these columns do not cover a single subject, we cannot say that they do not owe their success to the hype surrounding a particular subject but rather the individual ability to attract readers.

We will continue to observe the top 10 section until the end of July and perhaps add new categories to provide broader perspective.

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