Self-censorship a new way to stifle Turkish media, CPJ says

28 April, 12:38

    (ANSAmed) - ISTANBUL, APRIL 28 - In its annual assessment of the media freedom worldwide, the Committee to Protect Journalists (CPJ) has argued that Turkish authorities now consider declaring critical journalists as "unwanted" is a more efficient, cunning method of stifling the free press, rather than jailing them for their reporting, as daily Today's Zaman reports. "Erdogan seems to have realized that he no longer needs to resort to jailing journalists," the report entitled "Attacks on the Press" said, referring to Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan. According to the CPJ's latest report, there are seven journalists remain behind the bars. The Turkey section of the CPJ report, said the Turkish media has fallen into "full compliance with the structures of power," most notably those of Erdogan in the past five years.

    According to the 2015 edition of the Attacks on the Press, in Turkey thousands of journalists are now being forced to operate in what many describe as "prisons without walls" although the number of journalists in prison is falling. The report said in the conglomerate media - controlled by four or five companies - every newsroom is essentially an "open-air prison" characterized by severe, routine self-censorship where the punishment for professional resistance is to be fired and essentially declared a toxic human resource, making it very difficult to get a job elsewhere. The report said thanks to "systematic attacks and cunning operations," by the Turkish authorities but also by complicit media outlets that the country has now a "toothless mainstream media" that lacks efficiency and influence. It added that reporters are either told or give up as a display of self-censorship in chasing stories that would be of public interest. It concluded that along with law-enforced censorship, self-censorship has become the normal, widely internalized practice. "Imprisonment as a punitive measure is on the decline, replaced by firings," the report said.(ANSAmed).

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