Apr 11 2018

New code of ethics for broadcasting - watchdog

The president of Turkish broadcasting watchdog RTÜK has plans to revise the code of ethics for television and radio broadcasters in order to limit incitements to poor behaviour, pro-government newspaper Habertürk said.

“In earlier years, we laid out the ethical principles of broadcasting with radio and television channels. And all the broadcasters signed them. In the days ahead, we will update these ethical principles,” İlhan Yerlikaya told a reporter.

“As a result, our expectation is that they will activate their self-regulation mechanisms without us doing anything and sort this business out.”

Among the problems dogging modern day broadcasting were poor word choices by programme makers, Yerlikaya said.

“Say ‘damaging substance’ for drug substances,” he said. “Why are you saying ‘enjoyable substance’? In TV series and films they say ‘my head feels (tipsily) good’, for example. If you have consumed too much alcohol or drugs that means your head is broken. That is, it means your mental functions are broken. To say that ‘my head feels good’ means that you are encouraging it.”

He also warned news programmes against using phrases like “50 million dollars’ worth of drugs”, which encouraged their being seen as a source of income.

Another problem was parents allowing television and the internet to become “like a nanny” to children with poor self-control, Yerlikaya said, and they should rethink it.