Metin Mutanoglu, Anadolu Agency’s deputy director-general and editor-in-chief, said on Tuesday that the agency endeavors to create a human interest-centered type of journalism in order to not allow politics and state interests to jeopardize the news.
“As Anadolu Agency, we are attentive on doing human-centered journalism, and we are also exerting efforts in that area because when humanity is out of the news, political interests and smears enter the field,” said Mutanoglu speaking at a meeting of Arabic-speaking international journalists and scholars in Istanbul — a meeting organized by Istanbul metropolitan municipality.
Mutanoglu spoke about the Arab Spring — a wave of uprisings that took several Middle East and North African goverments by surprise at the start of the decade.
“We were expecting a democratic revolution in the Middle East, especially when the Arab Spring started. Everyone was hoping to see democracy as it is in the western world,” he said.
Recalling that Turkey had already developed a multi-party system in 1946, he said the country was experiencing democracy for nearly 70 years.
He went on to explain the power of ballots in Turkish democracy.
“This is the crucial part of democracy. Leaders come in front of the people, and explain themselves in order to win the election,” he said, recalling that Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan had announced his Justice and Development (AK) Party's manifesto and plans in order to win voters' ballots in the coming early election of June 24.
'Media is mostly used to facilitate internal conflicts'
Metin Mutanoglu also shared his thoughts on the media, lamenting the fact that they are increasingly being used for smears and political gains.
“We are faced with the fact that finding the correct information becomes very difficult. And we should have to reveal the correct information to present it to the public. Unfortunately, in current civil wars and clashes, media are mostly used for propaganda. In other words, we are seeing that information is used for political interests,” he underscored.
He added that journalists are expected to present information that is as objective as possible to the public, whatever the situation.
Mutanoglu also called on the Arab and Islamic world to stay united in order to solve the various issues in the Middle East. He underlined how important it was that journalists echo such messages of unity.
"Either we get rid of our problems united or go down together," he said.