Alarm bells are ringing for 'local media'... Why have foreign publications suddenly gone into attack mode? Is the 'transition from conventional to digital' an escape? Effective publishing is possible with less money and a small team! - İBRAHIM KARAGÜL

Alarm bells are ringing for 'local media'... Why have foreign publications suddenly gone into attack mode? Is the 'transition from conventional to digital' an escape? Effective publishing is possible with less money and a small team!

We have grave concerns regarding the future of "local media" in Turkey. Something needs to be done urgently concerning the future of our media, which is weakening more than ever in terms of content and language, and is increasingly losing the strength to influence the public, despite gaining more power than ever with respect to financial, economic power. I unfortunately see that there is rarely anybody making enough effort in this field.

Producing a new "media language" is now an obligation. The conventional media language has become outdated. A media structuring on news is no longer realistic. It is clear that media outlets, media groups that are unable to produce analyses, interpretation, a discourse and content will lose power now. Media outlets and organizations that fail to transform themselves are doomed to rapidly collapse one way or the other.

Why is there tension in local media? Why is there no intellectual claim?

Even though the global transformation in the area of social and digital media is the main reason behind the collapse of conventional media, there is one other danger invisible to the eye and not contemplated. This danger is the actual cause of the loss of power in local media.

The danger in question is the lack of producing a new media language, the lack of raising qualified members of the media community, the elimination of a responsibility such as content production, the inability to go beyond commenting on the discourse of politics alone, and the media losing all its intellectual claims.

Columnists no longer having any claims, their feeling no need to push themselves with a concern other than saving the day, most of them "unwillingly" writing an article to save the day, their being motivated by "relations" more than claims and ideas are sad indicators.

Why hide failure, lack of concern, exhaustion behind politics?

Reporters, editors, managing directors losing their claims and research capabilities, their consciously choosing this, an extraordinary indolence taking control over media kitchens, the loss of excitement, reduction in the interest to produce ideas on Turkey's real issues, and the almost complete lack of interest left in global discussions and tendencies is a great danger.

Efforts to hide the media and intellectual field's failure, lack of interest and the image of exhaustion by taking refuge behind the political discourse are even direr. Camouflaging laziness with politics is dangerous.

If we are unable to produce anything in the intellectual arena, in the media at a time when the world is going through a period of chaos, and Turkey is experiencing major changes, then the problem is with us. This means that we are unable to produce statements in any area - whether you call it a claim, ideal or cause - that determines social inclinations.

The 'transition from conventional media to digital' is an escape!

The "transition from conventional media to digital" is a common discourse in this period. Taking into consideration the general inclinations, the sociological changes, the language of new generations in Turkey and around the world, this escape is convincing to an extent. However, in Turkey, this slogan is a method to "hide flaws," "hide failures" rather than a great transformation.

Large-scale media groups are making major investments in digital media in terms of capital, technology and human resources. The largest digital publishing outlets belong to media groups. Yet, considering that these are left on their own, we will see that the majority of these publications won’t be able to remain standing.

A tough period awaits large media groups

Because none of them are able to produce their own human quality, content, and media language. Thus, we are fooling ourselves in the "switch to digital" discourse too. Because we consider the "switch to digital" with a conventional mind, and investment logic. It is not possible to form a strong, effective media power from this.

In this context, a tough period is starting for large media groups. Some of these groups that are already crushed under economic crises will probably not even be able to remain standing in a couple of years. Considering that even the liquidation of certain media outlets costs large sums, media groups need to become urgently alarmed with respect to "new media concepts" and forming “a new media language."

Extremely effective publications to start with small budget and staff

New capital will flow into the media field in the next couple of years. Groups that are extraordinarily effective and have the power to influence the public with a reduced number of staff and much smaller budgets are going to emerge. The media pool is going to change position. Both capital and advertising will shift to this area. However, those who make digital investments and are unable to produce content, unable to produce a language, and most importantly, those who are unable to socially impact, are going to be left in the cold with the investments they made.

Why are foreign publications in attack mode? What is this interest in Turkey?

You are probably watching "foreign" publications stand out in the recent period. This is not something random. Of course they have political objectives, but they are attacking the massive void left behind by the local media. Foreign publications such as Deutsche Welle (DW), Sputnik, The Independent, Şark-ul Avsat are making major investments in Turkey. The U.S., Europe, Arab countries, Russia and China have launched a serious media attack in Turkey.

Saudi Arabia and the United Arab Emirates (UAE) in particular are carrying out a covert media structuring. Buildings are being rented. Staff are being hired with incessant preparations for publishing. As local media loses impact, the influence of foreign media outlets increases.

The media pool will change position

We should be aware that media and public communications has completely changed. Public mobilization through newspapers and, as a matter of fact, television channels has become difficult and is no longer preferred. Instead, the digital field and social media are rapidly gaining strength. Facebook, Twitter and YouTube channels, and similar communication tools that will later join these, are the global power to create an impact. This is why everybody in politics, the social arena and the business world are turning toward this field.

This field is going to become the mainstream media pool. As preparations around the world speed up to this end, adequate projection and inclination is yet to form in Turkey. Social media is going to become sectorized and form the ground for major capital activity. Brand companies are going to become the field to which serious capital activity and accumulations are directed, leading to an unforeseeable trade volume.

Money, technology, premises are not enough. This is a Turkey issue.

If you are unable to produce a new discourse, if you are unable to produce content, if you are unable to re-establish social effectiveness, then all the investments made, the money spent, the large buildings rented, and state-of-the-art technology will go to waste. Sadly, none of the investments to date have been able to produce results. Where the mistake truly lies is a serious problem and it begs for an answer.

Those who really use the opportunity to produce a "new media concept" instead of considering the "transition from conventional to digital" as an escape will be permanent. This is a Turkey issue. It is our common issue. It is time to hang our heads forward and think.

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