| POLITICS |Özgür Gazete



In his book, Journalism: Why it matters?, Professor Michael S Schudson from Columbia University’s graduate school of journalism argues, It matters, because it orients people daily in the complex and changing worlds in which they live and adds, It matters because it keeps watch on the powerful, especially those in government, and can press upon them unpleasant truths to which they must respond. Corruption is stemmed, unwise initiatives stopped, public danger averted because of what journalists do.

And this is only possible by a real journalist who investigates the truth.
In other words, not impartial journalism, but one that is not partisan.
Because we often make the mistake of confusing being biased in favour of something with being adherent.

Whereas, adherence, born out of a relationship of interest involves “justifying every action as right, concealing or hiding events or persons who have been aggrieved or leading to a violation of rights”; being biased means to focus on a set of values without any expectation, interest or benefit.


Just as in “Motherland” Turkey, there is a growing partisan and ineffectual media in the northern part of Cyprus.

In fact, we can all justify partisan media but perhaps ineffectual media is a more serious threat.

While it is often crystal clear that news produced by partisan media is artificial or “fabricated” and a source of ridicule, media organizations that are described as “nonreactive and ineffectual” create another impression, that is “To see nothing and push for everything to be accepted as normal.”


This type of media just reports on the weather, gives room to interviews and news by the “state” agency (TAK) by avoiding all controversial issues, covers daily debates in Parliament between the government and opposition, reports about the potholes in the roads, and rounds up the day with a few international news items.

Of course, it makes sure it employs a few “moderate critics” and a few “supporters”, sprinkling them in between so as to look “impartial”.

You won’t find a single view, comment, or criticism in those news reports, just plain reporting. Unless you’re an intellectual, who reads, who has ideas, whose level of awareness is high, who reacts and seeks to learn the truth, none of it will make you budge.

In other words, it won’t encourage you to think, to focus on anything, to raise your awareness on an issue, to question, or to prompt you to react.


This is a far more dangerous form of “journalism” compared to partisan media.

Because unless you possess the qualities I’ve listed above, you believe that everything in the country and the world “is as it needs to be”, and you come to embrace all developments as part of the natural cycle of life and politics.

At some point, the insistence on describing incidents in which people die in traffic collisions on pitch-dark roads filled with potholes as “accidents” and writing this off as “fate” starts to sound normal.

As in the example set by the sentence, “They do a lot of work even if they steal, the others steal but don’t do anything”, embracing the idea that it’s alright for everyone who comes to power to steal and to accept this as natural is exactly the product of this [type of ]media.


Let’s take a look at the situation in the northern part of Cyprus;

It’s extremely difficult to keep standing without being someone’s supporter. Advertisement revenues are limited, equipment is expensive and running costs are a serious burden.

Newspapers such as ours which are “partial” but not partisan are in an even harder situation.

To be in a position where you can’t please everyone undermines the support you receive. Because support is only given if you provide your unconditional support.


The “Draft (amendment) Law on the Establishment and Broadcasts of Public and Private Radio and Television Stations” which has been approved by the committees in parliament and is expected to be approved soon is prepared in parallel with the “disinformation and censorship law passed by the Turkish parliament recently.

While according to the law passed in Turkey, a post on social media disliked by the government can be punishable with imprisonment up to 3 years, here the shares in media companies that can be owned by a foreign investor are being raised from 20 per cent to 75 per cent.

What does this mean; it means that a handful of independent yet “partial” media outlets, already weak and struggling to stay afloat with limited means, will be swallowed up by the big pro-government media corporations of Turkey.

Well then, what are the leftist parties or organizations that more or less share the same understanding of freedom and views with these media outlets or the trade unions who wage a struggle against governments regardless of their political views doing?


Apart from a few trade unions who support media organisations that employ journalists that rush to cover every story, that try to voice the views of the enlightened opposition in the strongest way possible, that invest in equipment to offer better services, and that cover other expenses so that they might remain free and independent… What is being done to support such media?

In fact, forget about increasing support, recently, trade unions that even own banks and parties that are financially well-off are stating that they will be cutting the limited support they currently provide for “financial” reasons.

While others, by choosing one media outlet and channelling all their support in that direction, are literally supporting monologists within the left.

And when there are delays in reporting on protest actions, strikes and press statements, or other important developments, the very same parties and trade unions question “why?”



Because you’re not supporting them,
Because you publicly want the partisan media to swallow the independent media,
While interest groups are feeding the partisan media, you are silencing yourselves,
You are choosing and embracing a single media group.

And you’re doing this while chanting for freedom from the platforms and the streets.


What will happen if things continue as they are?

If the voice of the free press, accepted as the fourth estate following the Legislature, the Executive, and the Judiciary, is crushed under the weight of the partisan media, neither the organizations nor the parties nor the trade unions will be heard.

I don’t know when what is going on will be noticed,
But I can see that everyone is currently in a deep slumber or they are deliberately burying their heads in the sand.


As a believer of peace and freedom in Cyprus, I am a person who struggles for this, and practices journalism not only as a profession but also with an ideological consciousness. I am proud to work and generate ideas for our country and communities in particular and for the whole world and its peoples in general. That’s all.

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