"Violence and the Media" Panel

Solicitor Fikret İlkiz who is a trustee and member of Board of Directors of Umut Foundation gave a training session on “Violence and Media” to members of Konya Local Press.

Local press members participated to the training session held on 2nd day of 40th meeting of “Local Press Trainings Project” that was organized with the cooperation of Turkey Journalists Society and Konrad Adenauer Stiftung.

Fikret İlkiz pointed out that news and graphics of violence presented by the Media particularly affect the young and children and therefore, the journalists have a grave responsibility while presenting news of violence. He particularly stressed that the source of news/ reader-listener-viewer/media triangle should be taken into consideration in respect of violence and according to this, sole responsibility should not be expected from the media while evaluating it, as every broadcast.

İlkiz, who presented suicide news as an example, said that in order to prevent copycat suicides the methods used by the deceased to end his/her life and specific details should not be used in the news; photograph or image of the deceased person should never be used; manner of presenting the news should not be romantic, positive and encouraging; the news of suicides should not be given as first news; phone numbers of support should be added to the news for those with suicidal tendencies.

He also told that Umut Foundation wishes an end to citizen’s armament against each other, within the scope of violence. He told about the Foundation’s works carried out in order to facilitate necessary regulations for the relevant legislation to be done and to raise awareness about the issue within the society. He said that the Foundation presented its solution proposals that are necessary to be implemented to solve the problem of individual armament in Turkey by participating the meeting of Firearms Sub Commission of Internal Affairs Commission, Grand National Assembly of Turkey.

Solicitor Fikret İlkiz explained the proposals determined by Media Working Group in a meeting on “Individual Armament Problem in Turkey: Proposals for a Solution” held in 2005 as follows:

1. Institutional endeavours should be taken to implement “Turkey Journalists Right and Responsibility Declaration” by all press organs, which was published by Turkey Journalists Society. The care should be given to the rule of “Journalist cannot do a broadcast that encourages, incites and vindicates any kind of violence, which is in the 3rd article of the chapter of “basic duties and principles of the journalist” of the Declaration.

2. Mutual seminars should be organized with Turkey Journalists Society, Umut Foundation and Istanbul Bar within the frame of Turkey Journalists Right and Responsibility Declaration as well as from legal point of view to inform the journalists.

3. “Media literacy” lessons should be put in the syllabus of primary education as it is in many countries, education in respect of this should continue in the following education phases. Thus, it is thought that citizens will be more conscious in respect of rightly perception of the media and as a reader-listener-viewer; they will more assimilate their share of responsibility. 

4.  The society should be made to embrace the Rule of Law. Therefore, legal and judicial regulations should be made so as to rid of the process in which persons assume right by brute force and necessary means should be provided.

5.  Institutional endeavours should be taken so as to make those, who should set an example to the society, especially Parliament members, take responsibility and give up blaming only the media for reflection of violent events.

6.  Works to be done to discourage individual armament in the society should be broadcast in media as “spot films” for public interest, like the programmes for reminding traffic rules and necessary regulations for generalization of which should be made.

7.  The cases of encouragement of individual armament encountered in daily life (presentation of arms in front of stores for sale, promotion of them in written and visual media) along side media’s social communication function by the citizens should be prevented.

Umut Foundation that started its works in 1993 was established with the aim of raising the young who are the guarantee of the future as individuals who embrace the Rule of Law, sensitive to environment and humanity, prefer peaceful ways to solve the conflicts, and are democratic with the conscious of being a citizen.

Besides, the Foundation has been carrying out its works for more than 10 years to contribute the raising conscious citizens who are sensitive to social issues and problems, aware of their rights and responsibilities and fulfil their duties. In the direction of this aim, introducing solutions to the problems of individual armament and violence in our society and raising awareness within the public about these issues are of first priority of its targets.