Date posted: April 22, 2012
EKREM DUMANLI, Sunday April 22, 2012
Once upon a time, people used to have faith in some papers, which have become famous because of their meticulous journalism, and to read their columns and opinion pieces with great admiration and attention. These papers actually deserved this attention and interest because they were objective, free of ideological prejudices and did not manipulate their readers with false reports. However, in recent years, the images of some international media outlets have been melting like a snowman.
Take the International Herald Tribune (IHT) which recently published a false report on Fethullah Gülen. This was such biased and subjective coverage. It is not misinterpretation; it included factual errors. It was a disaster and a disgrace for journalism.
It is either that those who drafted the report were misled by false information, or that the top management of the paper ignored the fundamental principles of journalism out of Islamophobia. Frankly, such a false report does not befit the IHT’s brand.
What is the logic in strongly accusing Fethullah Gülen without a scrap of evidence? They noted in the report that it is almost impossible to prove the allegations; however, they also published these allegations as if they were true. Some marginal papers have been doing the same in Turkey. They are producing militant journalism, despite the fact they are aware that Gülen had been prosecuted in connection with those charges for eight years, that he had been acquitted and that the Supreme Court of Appeals had endorsed this decision of acquittal. This attitude befits militant journalism. But how about the International Herald Tribune? How come this paper published this false report, despite this entailing the newspaper ignoring the basic criteria of journalism? Who is to blame for this? Is this attributable to Dan Bilefsky and Şebnem Arus, who drafted the report, or to careless editors?
In fact, this is not the first time the foreign media has made such a grave mistake. The Western media has been publishing visibly false reports over the last decade out of prejudice. The representatives of the foreign media in Turkey draft biased and false reports on the Justice and Development Party (AK Party), Recep Tayyip Erdoğan and Abdullah Gül. For this reason, those who follow the foreign media are unable to read the sociological dynamics in Turkey, because what is reflected in this type of reporting is the twisted perception of a small, privileged segment of Turkey. But in the meantime, the image of prestigious media institutions and figures is being undermined, because they are becoming marginalized in Turkey. It is now time for these big media outlets to take a look in the mirror and criticize themselves in reference to the principles of the profession of journalism. Their image is being undermined; this is the reality, even though their representative does not communicate it. I am just telling the truth.
Tags: Defamation of Hizmet |