Statement of President Ersin Tatar commemorating May 3, World Press Freedom Day
“It is an art to be able to report the facts in media news items without prejudice and the destruction of the objective reality”
“World Press Freedom Day was proclaimed by the UN General Assembly in 1993 which is also celebrated in the TRNC together with the rest of the world every May 3, raising awareness on freedom of the press and freedom of expression. The situation of the press in the institutional sense is evaluated with all its dimensions on this special day.
I pay tribute to Turkish Cypriot press, which has a deeply rooted history, and developed a strong tradition by displaying a prudent attitude in favour of ‘national values’ and ‘common wisdom’ of the Turkish Cypriot People in the social and political fields. Our press has achieved major milestones, benefitting from technological advancements, utilising different forms of media channels from ‘news portals’ to ‘websites’ that have increased in quantitative terms, reaching a capacity of being able to contribute to and even influence the political agenda of our country.
Alongside these achievements which we greatly value, it is with regret that we are also observing an erosion in media ethics in TRNC press. This can be attributed to the increase in the number of news portals and staff who are working in party political outlets, who are unfortunately manipulating the facts of the respective news item and distorting the realities in the hope of reaping political benefits.
Media contributes to the development of democracy, polyphony and enables people across all sections of our society to voice their views. Media also serve as the eyes and ears of society and is the voice of the People, and it is important for news to be reported impartially, correctly, without prejudice and violating the guiding principles governing media ethics. I cannot emphasise enough the importance of having accurate and factual news reporting. This is necessary so that we can find the correct way forward on the respective issue that is based on facts and accurate news reporting.
Press agencies and journalists should adopt the work ethic that reports facts, offering insight into the objective reality, and refrain from attacking any person, institution and/or thought in a dishonourable, humiliating, and hostile manner, under the guise of freedom of thought.
Publishing news that is tantamount to convicting people without a trial and which attacks their dignity also carries great dangers in the name of public interest and social peace. A media culture that guides social justice and public interest, adheres to ethical norms, and regulates itself will be the guarantee for us to reach brighter days.
It is with these feelings and thoughts that I commemorate May 3, World Press Freedom Day, of each invaluable journalist and press worker in the TRNC.”