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Radio and Television Supreme Council RTSC Survey: News are discriminatory and polarizing

Each passing day, the pressure environment surrounding the journalists widens and reliance of public to the news is diminishing. According to “Television Watching Tendencies Survey” by RTSC, the audience is not happy with news because of most being “Discriminatory and Polarizing.”

Hayri Demir

Radio and Television Supreme Council (RTSC) has recently announced the results of the “Television Watching Tendencies Survey”. As well as television watching ratios, the report reveals striking data on journalism in Turkey. According to the survey, the “news” is at the top of the program participants preferences to watch with a monthly average of 24 days.

However, the answer given to the question of “What are the most disturbing themes in the news” in the following sections of the report, also reveals that the society is uncomfortable with the news. Participants mostly feel uncomfortable of news being “discriminatory and polarizing”. A 55.3 percent of participants both agree that news are “discriminatory and polarizing” and they are uncomfortable about this.

It has been recorded in survey data that news not based on principles of objectivity, truth and facticity are also reported to RTSC Communication Center. In the report, the information about “Newscast” program 11 fines were issued against broadcasters considering the complaints from citizens between January and September 2018 is also included. 44.7 per cent of participants think that the news contents are against “national and moral values.”


Questions about television watchers’ trust level in getting news from various media tools are also posed. 69.2 per cent of participants rely on television, 62.3 per cent on printed media, 62.2 per cent on radio and 59.1 per cent on websites as source of information. However, the reason why television being placed on the top as a source of information is explained as: “The reason that television as top ranking source of information is that the infollution during the case process is diminishing with the help of television –with the senior staff of government taking place”.

According to the survey, domestic tv series are the second most watched programs after the news. According to the information given by participants, domestic tv series are watched on 15 days in monthly average. But in accordance with survey results, a 62 per cent of participants are also uncomfortable about tv series represent negative examples to kids and youth; 48,8 per cent are uncomfortable about violence and horror contents.


There is three hours and 48 minutes of television watching process on average per day in 2018. Nevertheless, this was 5 hours and 8 minutes in 2006; 4 hours and 23 minutes in 2009 and 3 hours and 54 minutes in 2012 according to the data given in the survey. It is obvious that television watching ratio is diminishing year after year according to the survey.


According to the results, “daytime programs” are the most disturbing sort of programs. 46.3 per cent of the participants express that they are uncomfortable with them. 73.4 per cent thinks that the reason is “incompliance with the general moral and family structure” and a 17.8 per cent thinks that these programs are “discriminatory and polarizing”. Between the most preferred programs ranking, “daytime programs” are preferred an average of 13 days in a month.


22.7 per cent of the participants thinks that broadcasting is getting worse, despite 25.6 per cent thinks that it is going better when compared to previous five years. According to 54.5 per cent of the participants who think that it is getting worse, the reason is downtrend in content quality. 21.6 per cent thinks that negative controlling practices, 9.3 percent think that increase of violent content and 7.1 percent think that biased broadcasting is the reason.


The survey conducted by RTSC reveals striking data about television journalism and Digital News Report released by Oxford University Reuters Institute for the Study of Journalism reflects the situation of media in Turkey. In this report, Turkey leads among 37 countries in “fake” news category. 2000 people participated to this survey and 49 per cent of participants stated that they are exposed to fake news which are for political or advertorial purposes.

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