For quite some time, and on many different platforms, I have defended the view that the Turkish media has a bigger problem than being pro- or anti-government, despite that this is how the situation is usually portrayed in both local and international circles. The real problem that I claim is affecting the field can be described as unprofessionalism, occupational inadequacy and overall cheapness. Turkish media is, in the main, a medium without a set of standards. As said in a debate two months ago in Turkish monthly magazine Lacivert, Turkish media looks like a house filled with garbage.
By way of example, we see that one of the most discussed topics in international conferences and expos is work flow. As transportation and communication technologies evolve over time, the jobs and roles in media are rewritten because it heavily depends on these two fields. Journalists around the world try to find out how to deal with time loss or how to deliver news to the reader in the fastest way possible without sacrificing truth and accuracy. Opportunities to lower costs and increase output are laid on the table.
Unfortunately, most of the media in Turkey has not only isolated itself as far as possible to these debates, it is also very cumbersome in every aspect of its daily and yearly operations. Our media has surrendered to a work flow and job distribution that is highly ineffective. We are in a situation that allows everyone to do anything and anyone to do nothing. Arbitrariness inhabits every corner of the media in this country.
Once the bulkiness of media companies poses serious problems, the companies start to downsize and, consequently, we learn that they let go of their colleagues. But these are only short term solutions and the overall inadequacies of company and sector practices remain. The answer lies not in shrinking personnel but in changing the system, and doing that requires both courage and wisdom.
Although the personnel base of Daily Sabah is younger and more open to change compared to its counterparts, as long as the system stays the same, every improvement they bring will be short-lived. Without radical change, the overall situation of the Turkish media poses the risk of shaping them into one of the gears that currently makes up the unhappy form of media practices.
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