War’s first casualty is truth. This is what Hiram Johnson, a Republican Senator from California who served in the U.S. for 30 years, said during World War I. Coincidentally, he died on Aug. 6 1945 - the day the U.S. dropped an atomic bomb on Hiroshima.
The never-ending struggle of journalists is to uphold truth, whether in times of war or peace. In that regard, times of peace have recently proved trickier than times of war. Not just in Turkey, but throughout the world.
While the challenges faced by journalism in the digital ‘post-truth era’ may have transformed our ways of working, the fundamentals of sound reporting remain unchanged. Fairness, accuracy, a diversity of perspectives as well as an unbiased dynamic vision are necessary to avoid giving into the 24-hour information pollution that has sneaked into our lives through the technological devices in our pockets.
Beyond the global digital dynamics of the 21st century’s media landscape, the list of challenges is longer and tougher as a journalist in Turkey. The judicial traps that have been set for reporters in the past decade have turned Turkey into a dungeon for journalists. Despite that, a number of independent media outlets have flourished at both local and national levels, rapidly filling the void left by the state’s capture of mainstream media.
Since its establishment in Aug. 2016, Gazete Duvar has been one of the most successful examples of this new wave of soul-searching in Turkey’s media. We now have the honor of joining the family with a new online publication in English which intends to bring a new breath for Turkey-watchers throughout the world.
At a time when even we – the locals – have difficulties determining what is newsworthy, it is no easy feat to recount Turkey’s stories to outsiders. Still, we consider it a noble responsibility.
Democracies endure as long as there is oxygen for free journalism. And great journalism can only survive with an audience that can recognize it. May the future bring us both!
Hoping peace will prevail.