On this edition of "Media on the Margins," Malihe speaks with Istanbul-based freelance journalist Alexander Christie-Miller shortly after Turkish Prime Minister Erdogan`s ban on Twitter went into effect and before the country`s elections.
On 20 March, during a campaign rally ten days before the local elections, Erdogan said, “We now have a court order. We’ll eradicate Twitter. I don’t care what the international community says. Everyone will witness the power of the Turkish Republic!” That same evening, Twitter users in Turkey were welcomed to a screen message that reads “Twitter is blocked in Turkey by court order.” One week after the Twitter ban, and one day after a Turkish court overturned the ban, the country’s telecommunications authority (TIB) blocked the widely used video-sharing platform, YouTube. This latest prohibition is a response to leaked audio material posted on YouTube supposedly incriminating Erdogan and other prominent members of the AK Party in corruption, an accusation Erdogan and his allies strongly deny and condemn.
However, the discussion about the banning of these prominent platforms, while drawing global attention on to the condition of media freedoms in Turkey, nevertheless overlooks the pressures on the traditional media as well as journalists and the increasing environment of self-censorship and censorship. Arguably, the crackdown against the Turkish media began even before Twitter came into being.
"Media on the Margins" is a regular Jadaliyya program dedicated to the stories behind the news, on the fault-lines of journalism and the fringes of public discourse. In each episode, Malihe Razazan, the winner of the Society for Professional Journalists` 2012 Community Journalism Award, speaks to reporters, editors, citizen journalists, and photographers to unpack their craft, interrogate their work, and uncover how the news comes to represent the world. The show shines a spotlight on stories missed, ignored, and omitted as well as the people who tell them. "Media on the Margins" is where "journalism grapples with journalism."