Phil Howard on Turkish TRT Channel Becoming a Broadcaster for Erdoğan’s Party

August 9, 2021

The Istanbul-based English-language broadcaster TRT World has shifted its style from being Turkey’s public diplomacy tool into becoming Recep Tayyip Erdoğan’s AKP party’s voice to the world, CMDS Fellow Phil Howard and co-author Mona Elswah argue in a paper published in the journal Journalism.

In their latest study of state-backed media systems, Howard and Elswah investigate the interplay between public diplomacy and editorial policies at TRT World and show how the organizational change from public to party broadcaster has occurred.

Based on in-depth interviews with TRT World journalists, the paper maps the production process, highlighting the points where political and politicized decisions are made.

“By examining TRT World, this study provides a framework to understand how international broadcasters operate in countries where media freedom is restricted,” the authors say.

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