Coverage of bombing causes row
Anatolia News Agency CEO Öztürk says ‘Turkish media showed solidarity’As a deadly bombing in the eastern province of Gaziantep on Aug. 20 leaves Turkey reeling, coverage of the incident in Turkish media has varied greatly.
Immediately after the attack many news channels announced the incident as breaking news, but shortly ended their live stream of the events unfolding in Gaziantep and returned to their normal broadcast schedule.
Anatolia news agency CEO Kemal Öztürk released an unofficial statement via Twitter likening heavy news coverage of the bomb as terrorist propaganda. “Photographs and video records which can be evaluated as terrorist propaganda will not be published in Anatolian Agency reports,” Öztürk wrote on his official twitter account at 11 p.m., three hours after the incident occurred.
“Turkish media showed solidarity in their reporting,” Öztürk also said, defining the assailants as the ones who were trying to create an environment of chaos in Turkey.
Many Twitter users complained about the lack of information surrounding the incident, while some journalists shared photographs taken while they reported from the scene.
Yesterday a third of the country’s 30 national newspapers made the bombing their featured story, while four of them included the story on their front page, but not as the featured article.
“Eid al Fıtr Massacre,” one of the papers read, while another emphasized the number of volunteers giving blood for the wounded with the headline “3,000 people in line for blood donation.”
The Turkish press should be “sensitive” on reporting terror incidents, Deputy Prime Minister Beşir Atalay said in a press conference he held yesterday in Gaziantep, adding that his government was informing the press about the incident.
“We will keep you informed on the incident and how it has happened,” he said.
Eight people, including one woman and three children ages 18 months, four years and 11 years, were reportedly killed in the blast. Another 12-year-old child died in the hospital yesterday from injuries sustained in the attack.