How does the political enter the newsroom? The representation of the Kurdish 'Other' in Turkish journalism


AŞIK M. O.

JOURNALISM, 2021 (Peer-Reviewed Journal) identifier identifier

  • Publication Type: Article / Article
  • Volume:
  • Publication Date: 2021
  • Doi Number: 10.1177/14648849211015604
  • Journal Name: JOURNALISM
  • Journal Indexes: Social Sciences Citation Index, Scopus, IBZ Online, ComAbstracts, Communication & Mass Media Index, Index Islamicus, MLA - Modern Language Association Database, PAIS International

Abstract

In this article, I examine how journalists working for the Turkish national mainstream televisual media represent Kurds - a significant national 'Other' of Turkish society - in the process of news production. My research is based on ethnographic fieldwork and interviews conducted between 2011 and 2014 in the newsrooms of two Turkish television channels with different political outlooks and experiences. The study reveals an unprecedented interest of mainstream television media in the inclusionary representation of Kurds during the research period due to a temporary change to the traditional Turkish state policy toward Kurds. In this new political context, I argue that the journalistic practice and discourse on Kurds is likely to be determined by political differences among Turkish journalists. The Turkish journalists working for these two different channels, for example, seek to justify and advance conflicting political agendas since they have contradicting political worldviews and political experiences. Based on these findings, this article demonstrates how the three factors of political worldview, political experience, and political context combine to shape journalistic values - the values which orient various stages of news production, at which journalists imagine, categorize, and articulate the Kurds and decide how to represent them in news outputs.