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To say [Amol Rajan, new editor of The Independent,] was “green” hardly covers it. After one month on the news desk he was sent to Portugal when Madeline McCann’s parents had been arrested. He was tasked with filing a 600 word descriptive feature, a “colour piece”, from Praia da Luz. “[News editor] Pete Victor phoned back,” he recalls. “He said ‘about this colour piece? I like the intro, I like the payoff, it’s all very nice, but what the fuck is with all these references to the magenta sky, the lilac walls and the terracotta brickwork?’… I thought I had written a colour piece – I didn’t know what one was.”

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The Media Monitoring Project began in 2008 and is intended to provide early warning of genocide, crimes against humanity, ethnic cleansing, and serious war crimes by monitoring the domestic news media (newspapers, radio, television and online sources) in at risk countries. It also seeks to inform policy makers, academics, NGO workers and students about what government-owned media in countries at risk tell their people in their own language. In order to get the best understanding of the situation and provide an overall account of what the people on the ground are being told, the project covers both government-owned and privately-owned domestic media. The project assigns a desk officer to each at-risk country and the desk officer produces weekly reports summarising the relevant content from domestic media, providing a weekly snapshot of the information available to citizens in that country.

The polarization of the state could be plainly seen in the reporting of the Gezi Park protests. The protests appear to have emboldened once critical newspapers such as Hurriyet to reassume an anti-ruling party stance unseen in the recent years of Erdogan’s media taming. Hurriyet has broadcast Erdogan’s “defeat” with headlines such as “Erdogan no longer almighty.” On the other end of the political spectrum, the state-funded news agency Anatolia is reporting the protests as a “brawl” between police and firework-throwing youth extremists, while stressing a democratic message that the government permitted the Republican People’s Party to demonstrate in Taksim. Far more interesting is reporting from the Justice and Development Party’s traditional sources of support. Yeni Safak, a newspaper close to the ruling party, has condemned the park project and sympathized with the protesters. The same was seen in Zaman newspaper, run by followers of the moderate Islamist Gulen movement. The Gulenists form a crucial component of the ruling party’s broader support base but also keep their distance from the ruling party. The movement has been increasingly critical of Erdogan, strongly suggesting that he and his party have become too powerful. Editorials from the newspaper admonished Erdogan for his “excessive” behavior and sided with the protesters.

Stratfor article (paywalled) about the roots of the protests in Turkey