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By now, you’ll have heard – perhaps via international media, or on Twitter or Facebook – about the protests that started in defence of one of Istanbul’s last remaining green spaces, and have now, in response to heavy-handed policing and broader worries about democratic rights, spread across many cities in Turkey

I’ve been following the torrent of communication and coverage on Twitter mainly via a mixture of local and international academics, NGO people and journalists – ranging from Asli Tunç, Yaman Akdeniz, Zeynep Tufekci (who has also blogged a rapid, excellent analysis), and Burcu Baykurt [UPDATE: Burcu has written a very comprehensive post detailing the main media reform issues emerging from the Gezi Park protest movement] to Aaron SteinBenjamin Harvey, Hugh Pope and Amberin Zaman – as well as feeds like 140 Journos. (Feel free to tweet me or @mediapolicy with further suggestions.)

One of the most widely discussed (on Twitter) aspects of these protests has been the mainstream Turkish media’s perceived failure to cover the protests fairly, adequately, or in some cases at all, leading Bloomberg’s Benjamin Harvey to tweet the following:

Turks being confronted with the now-undeniable deficiencies of their media may be one of the most important aspects of these protests.

In report after report after report [UPDATE: 3 June 2013 – see comment below for further resources], those deficiencies – and the reasons for them – have been thoroughly, exhaustively anatomised. Asli Tunç and Vehbi Görgülü’s Mapping Digital Media Turkey report (2012), for example, gives a very comprehensive overview of the Turkish media sector and its travails, and is part of a 50-country series that mediapolicy.org readers know well. The Carnegie report (also supported by OSF) by Marc Pierini and Markus Mayr on Press Freedom in Turkey, takes a different approach. Introducing the report in January 2013, Pierini wrote:

I didn’t conduct yet another inquiry into press freedom. More modestly, I analyzed all the reports published on the subject by governmental and non-governmental, Turkish and foreign entities during the last two years. Although they had different focuses and methodologies, all these reports convey one single image: Turkey’s record is bad because it fares well below the country’s democratic credentials and is hurting the nation economically and diplomatically on the international scene.

One has to hope that the Gezi Park crisis will lead in some way to genuine reforms in Turkey’s media policy and media sector, freeing journalism to play a stronger role in the country’s democracy. As Turkey is one of mediapolicy.org‘s focus countries, we’ll definitely follow developments and build up useful resources over the coming weeks and months. We’d love to hear from academics, researchers, civil society and journalists interested in sharing perspectives on media policy and reform in Turkey – please get in touch on email or Twitter

On Wednesday 3 October 2012, the Press Council of South Africa announced sweeping reforms to press regulations at an event at Constitutional Hill, Johannesburg. Much stronger public participation in the Press Council of South Africa and its adjudication procedures is the most notable change.
The reforms move the press from self-regulation to voluntary independent co-regulation. This follows years of public debate and deliberations by a task team appointed by the Press Council.

South Africa: Sweeping Reforms to Press Regulations Announced – the OSF Mapping Digital Media report, which covers some of these issues, is here.

On Wednesday 3 October 2012, the Press Council of South Africa announced sweeping reforms to press regulations at an event at Constitutional Hill, Johannesburg. Much stronger public participation in the Press Council of South Africa and its adjudication procedures is the most notable change.
The reforms move the press from self-regulation to voluntary independent co-regulation. This follows years of public debate and deliberations by a task team appointed by the Press Council.

South Africa: Sweeping Reforms to Press Regulations Announced – the OSF Mapping Digital Media report, which covers some of these issues, is here.

The program aims at contributing to knowledge gaining and capacity building in the areas of media policy and media reform in the region. […] A group of regional experts, in conjunction with local experts of the most valuable expertise resources in Egypt will deliver the program:
Emad Mubarak, executive director, Association for Freedom of Thought and Expression, Egypt.
Professor Hussein Amin, professor, Department of Journalism and Mass Communication, School of Global Affairs and Public Policy, The American University in Cairo, Egypt.
Negad El Borai, attorney at law and senior partner, United Group, Attorneys at Law, Legal Researchers and Human Rights Advocates, Egypt.
Professor Ramy Aly, anthropologist and co-founder of the Public Service Broadcast Initiative, Egypt.
Professor Rasha Abdulla, associate professor, Department of Journalism and Mass Communication, School of Global Affairs and Public Policy, The American University in Cairo, Egypt.
Professor Rasha Allam, affiliate professor, Department of Journalism and Mass Communication, School of Global Affairs and Public Policy, The American University in Cairo, Egypt.
Sawsan Zaidah, journalist and director, Eye on Media, Jordan.
Tarek Atia, managing director, Egypt Media Development Program, Egypt.
Tony Mikhael, director of media monitoring unit, Maharat Foundation, Lebanon.
Yahia Shukkier, journalist, managing editor, Alarab Alyawm newspaper, Jordan.

The program aims at contributing to knowledge gaining and capacity building in the areas of media policy and media reform in the region. […] A group of regional experts, in conjunction with local experts of the most valuable expertise resources in Egypt will deliver the program:
Emad Mubarak, executive director, Association for Freedom of Thought and Expression, Egypt.
Professor Hussein Amin, professor, Department of Journalism and Mass Communication, School of Global Affairs and Public Policy, The American University in Cairo, Egypt.
Negad El Borai, attorney at law and senior partner, United Group, Attorneys at Law, Legal Researchers and Human Rights Advocates, Egypt.
Professor Ramy Aly, anthropologist and co-founder of the Public Service Broadcast Initiative, Egypt.
Professor Rasha Abdulla, associate professor, Department of Journalism and Mass Communication, School of Global Affairs and Public Policy, The American University in Cairo, Egypt.
Professor Rasha Allam, affiliate professor, Department of Journalism and Mass Communication, School of Global Affairs and Public Policy, The American University in Cairo, Egypt.
Sawsan Zaidah, journalist and director, Eye on Media, Jordan.
Tarek Atia, managing director, Egypt Media Development Program, Egypt.
Tony Mikhael, director of media monitoring unit, Maharat Foundation, Lebanon.
Yahia Shukkier, journalist, managing editor, Alarab Alyawm newspaper, Jordan.