‘Rediscovering journalism’ discussed at Stratcom Summit in Istanbul

Panelists, including Anadolu Agency’s editor-in-chief, discuss future of journalism

New trends in journalism were discussed Saturday in a panel at Stratcom Summit 2021, with a top Anadolu Agency official among the speakers of the Istanbul event.

In the panel titled “Digital Newsmakers: Rediscovering Journalism,” Yusuf Ozhan, Anadolu Agency’s deputy director general and editor-in-chief, said the agency’s correspondents across Turkey and the globe are following the news “every day, every minute, every second”.

Moderated by Halil Ibrahim Izgi, an advisor at Turkish Red Crescent, the panel also hosted Bora Yildirim, head of Digital News at TRT News; Ismail Halis, founder of website Mucerret; Dogukan Gezer, chief editor of online broadcaster Gzt; and Ersin Celik, chief editor of online daily Yeni Safak, as speakers.

The influence of new media on agency journalism “was felt very intensely” over the past 10 years, Ozhan stated.

“When we look at it from a broader perspective, these 10 years were extremely tiresome,” he said.

“We are witnessing the tiring, variable, transformative, and, in fact, practical evolution of technology by big technology companies,” he argued.

For an overview of the transformation of journalism between 2008-2009, Ozhan compared the era of web 1.0 and web 2.0.

“What we call web 1.0 was aesthetic in a world with a fixed static page, where information could be obtained, and institutions had their counterparts in the digital world,” he said.“In the era of web 2.0, we switched to the age of interaction, and here we have seen social media platforms.”

He said that Facebook was not just about “finding our primary school friends” but it also brought “individual interpretations to different places in the world.”

Ozhan also explained how technological products, like mass media tools, evolved over the years.

“The first social media war in history took place, for example, in the era of web 2.0,” he said.

Footages related to the Syrian civil war, which broke out in 2011, were spreading online, he said, adding: “Today, you can’t find most of them when you look back”.

“In the end, it was the 10th year of web 2.0 and a 10-year of the transformation period that made us question many of our concepts intertwined with journalism, destroyed many structures, and pushed us to adopt many new teams, new areas of expertise, new communication methods, and new communication strategies,” he said.

Now, another 10 years of “web 3.0” and “decentralization” start, according to Ozhan.

“We ask ourselves questions about what the next 10 years will bring,” he said.

“Because one aspect of this is the decentralized world, the other aspect is moving towards issues based on VR technologies,” he added.

Also addressing the panel, Yildirim said TRT is working on creating a “virtual reporter”.

“If we move to the metaverse in the future, we will also have a virtual reporter there. Therefore, we continue to work towards that,” he said. ​​​​​​


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