Crowdfunding as a suitable option against Turkish media

Crowdfunding as a suitable option against Turkish media

"Journalism should be the voice of the voiceless. We've always tried to do that and our listeners can symbolically support us for half an hour of programming for just under 30 euros.

And that's all for a year. That's how independence is enforced, it closes the listeners Investors and holds us journalists accountable to them, which I think is incredibly important, so we can also defend views that big media outlets don't welcome," says Ömer Madra, editor-in-chief at Acik Radio (which translates to "open radio" in English), a crowdfunding channel - A pioneer who, probably as a Turkish great-father, had started the attempt at independent media reporting about 10 years ago.

And, as has been shown time and again in recent months with some amazing operations and events, the reporting in the Turkish media is anything but independent. The major TV stations, like the major newspapers, are in the hands of very wealthy investors who come from every imaginable industry and/or interest. Depending on political or religious affiliation, the reporting of these media fails. No sign of independent journalism. Journalists who don't conform are transferred, harassed or simply thrown out on the street.

Gezi protests, which are seen as a turning point in many people's thinking

crowdfunding 3After the Gezi protests, which are seen as a turning point in many people's thinking, young journalists in particular are trying to break new ground here. So does Cem Sey, a veteran foreign correspondent who now works as a columnist for news website T24. Together with three young colleagues, he is working on the follow-up to the latest news that they themselves published, which he comments passionately as follows:

"We talked about our own reports. And I found three or four points in many reports: We should have asked here. We should have asked the people's lawyers. We should have asked experts here. We should have asked here have to ask the government. It's not really professional work here."

But where is the experience of the three young colleagues supposed to come from? The majority of journalists did not have a permanent job after completing their studies, so they are still in their apprenticeship years. Money in the context of a permanent position is only available to very few. So it's no wonder that people are looking for new ways. However, whether crowdfunding to finance independent journalism can be seen as a solution remains to be seen.

"The public has changed in that they now think that everything could actually be different in Turkey. That means they are looking for media that meet these expectations - and can't find any. But that's only temporary, we know that us. If we don't turn it into a high-quality internet newspaper now, then this window of opportunity will eventually close."

It is and remains a question of financing, because you need adequate funds for quality journalism. When television stations and daily newspapers are in the hands of interest groups or, better, investors, it quickly becomes clear which publications and reports are published here. We remember only too well the discussions about the function and importance of the public television stations in Germany when the so-called private stations were introduced. And if you look at the quality of the private broadcasters today ....... what more do you have to say. Then rather fees.

crowdfunding 2The announcements of the daily new conspiracy theories in the Turkish media are too extreme, whether in the daily press or on TV shows: "This is a trap set by the CIA. The EU is behind it, Turkey's enemies are behind it, the Jewish money lobby is behind it."

The new editorial departments that have emerged are at least trying to build up their own financing in order to maintain their independence. T24 is also an example of this.

With small films for hobby clubs or associations one tried to earn something and to collect money for the start as a news portal. Films are now being produced for a wide variety of groups, ranging from architecture to banks, which means that additional money is also being made for advertising.

Cem Sey openly reports the monthly budget of US$20,000-25,000 that can be billed at the end of the month for her work. Not enough to operate T24. So crowdfunding was a possible option.

"There has been a tremendous change. It's like before Christ and after Christ. I don't want to exaggerate either, but after Gezi and this long, hot summer, none of us will ever be the same again."

However, crowdfunding can only be a financial drop in the bucket. At Acik Radyo, too, only three of over 200 journalists are paid for their work. The rest is idealism and hope for a better future.

Types of media manipulation

  • Ethnic or racial manipulation, including racism, nationalism and regionalism.
  • Corporate manipulation, including advertising and public relations – reporting on political campaigns in the interests of corporate interests, reporting in the interests of the media owners.
  • Class manipulation, both manipulation that favours a particular social class and manipulation that ignores a division of society into social classes.
  • Political manipulation, including manipulation for or against a particular political party or candidate.
  • Religious manipulation, including manipulation that favours one religious’ viewpoint over another.
  • Scandal that hypes something extraordinary over normal. This includes the practice of emphasizing, distorting, or fabricating particular messages about for commercial reasons.
  • Disinformation that deliberately spreads false, one-sided or distorted information.
  • Agitation and propaganda (for example during the Cold War).
  • The journalistic lie that is well chosen and believed because it is often printed as a headline. Any revocations are placed in such a way that they are hardly noticed.
  • Court reporting or pronouncement journalism: the unbiased, uncritical publication of information in the interests of politicians, parties or institutions

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