Turkish newspapers are publishing more stories about environmental issues.
They probably won't push the latest futbol scores off of the front page anytime soon, but articles about environmental issues are becoming more common in Turkish newspapers, with 2008 a banner year for coverage of renewable energy.
The Center for Economic and Social Research at Bahçeşehir University in Istanbul looked at coverage of environmental topics in three prominent daily newspapers--Hürriyet, Sabah, and Zaman--over the time period between 1998 and 2008. Last year, the three papers published 2,438 stories on the environment, down slightly from 2007, when global warming was the most popular environmental topic. (Big ongoing political stories like the lifting of a ban on head scarfs at public schools, an attempt to shut down the government, and the arrest of a variety of prominent figures on conspiracy charges probably lessened the available column space last year.)
Environmental awareness, forests, and pollution were the focus of the most journalistic attention in 2008. Water was also a popular topic, especially in the summer months, when drought and water cut-offs are an ongoing concern.
With more than 2,000 newspapers in Turkey, 40 of them of national scope, researchers selected the three studied based on their "high rating figures [and] ownership by different media groups, as well as the suitability of their Web sites for our scanning." (Most Turkish papers are owned by large conglomerates like the Doğan Group, publisher of Hürriyet; Merkez Group, which owns Sabah; and Feza Group, which puts out Zaman.)
Though articles on green topics still constitute a small percentage of total news stories in these papers, the researchers noted that "in both visual and written media, the number of news pieces concerning the environment has increased, including a larger number of newspaper supplements and more focus by television channels on environmental issues." Perhaps it won't be too long before Turkish journalism gets its own Andy Revkin or Elizabeth Kolbert. Via: "Study shows increase in Turkish reporting on environmental issues," Today's Zaman
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