A Critical Analysis of Media Ethics in Turkey (1990-2008)
Journalism ethics emerged as a major issue in Turkey following the introduction of the liberalisation of broadcasting, which as a process also overlapped with the structural transformation of the press in the early 1990s. This research study specifically looks into the critiques of liberal perspectives in media ethics. Throughout my research, I analyse the ways in which the commercial press, and its professional codes and practices, constructed an ideology of professionalism in Turkey. In order to accomplish this, I specifically problematise liberal theories of press, as well as the concepts of self-regulation, professionalism, social responsibility and the ethical notion of journalism in relation to specific cases chosen from Turkey, this study aims to answer three main questions within three main cases: (1) How does the mainstream Turkish press legitimised giving promotions as a core activity of journalistic field? ; (2) How does the biggest media group of Turkey, DMG (Dogan Media Group) employ its ethical codes as a commercial strategy?; and (3) How was the notion of press freedom politicized within the conflict between the Prime Minister (Erdogan) and the leading media owner (Dogan). Apart from these controversial cases, I also analyse self-regulatory mechanisms, such as the representation of the audience/reader, ombudsmen and the “ethical view” of relevant parties (professional organisations, press unions, and the Press Council).