Dec 16 2017

Turkish TV news told to stop measuring ratings, boost positivity

Turkey’s broadcasting watchdog told television companies’ news directors to stop measuring their ratings and to minimise bad news, opposition paper Cumhuriyet said.

“If you stop measuring news bulletin ratings, owners will stop putting out news and those working in news teams will be left unemployed,” it quoted newsmakers as saying at a meeting with the watchdod in the capital, Ankara.

“We cannot give up on the news.”

Cumhuriyet said that the impetus for the new guidance was from Prime Minister Binali Yıldırım, who had recently told broadcast watchdog RTÜK that news broadcasts focused too much on negatives and that they would be able to be more positive, and accurate, if freed from the burden of the competition for ratings.

RTÜK President İlhan Yerlikaya then brought together newsmakers and showed them examples of “negative news”, the newspaper said.

However, Cumhuriyet said that even the news chiefs of state broadcaster TRT objected when RTÜK proposed the measures, with some newsmakers saying that their channels would be disgraced internationally if they could not produce the figures.