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Listening Post

Turkey: The media sub-plot

We examine how news outlets have become part of the story in the recent scandal involving Erdoganís government.

Last updated: 25 Jan 2014 11:25
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In recent weeks, Turkish Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s government has been caught up in a corruption scandal. And the media - more than just reporting the story - has become an interesting sub-plot in it.

Turkey has a poor record on media freedom, not helped by the number of conglomerates that own media outlets which tend not to criticise the government.

But the scandal has prompted a change in direction; the media criticism of Erdogan has been sharp, and the instruments the government is coming back at them with are blunt.

Turkey's government has made allegations that the critical media are part of a conspiracy involving foreign powers who want a new government in Ankara. And all of this is unfolding against the backdrop of upcoming elections, in which the media - and their ability to cover the vote - will be a crucial part of the democratic process. 

On this week’s News Bytes: The Pakistan Taliban claim responsibility for the murder of three media workers employed at a critical news outlet; Twitter suspends the accounts of the military wing of Hamas; and a veteran Egyptian correspondent backtracks after calling for the slaughter of Americans on live television.

Washington's revolving door

Journalists in Washington are supposed to know what is happening in the corridors of power. Then there are those who walk the corridors themselves, quitting a job in the media to work in politics. But it is a revolving door and there have also been a number of politicians who have moved into the media.

Since President Barack Obama took office, a record number of journalists, at least 16, have taken up jobs in his administration. But politicians, and the reporters who cover them, are supposed to have an adversarial relationship.

So what is at stake when the line between politics and journalism becomes blurred?

In this week’s feature, the Listening Post’s Gouri Sharma looks at the implications of the revolving door between the media and politics in Washington.

Finally, this week's web video features something slightly different. Rino Stefano Tagliafierro is an Italian animator who takes old paintings - masterpieces - by artists like Michelangelo and Rubens and digitally adds movement to them. His edited collection reflects the cycle of life, all the way through to death. With more than 100 000 hits online, "Beauty" is our web video of the week.

Listening Post can be seen each week at the following times GMT: Saturday: 0830, 1930; Sunday: 1430; Monday: 0430.

Click here for more Listening Post

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Source:
Al Jazeera
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