Western media outlets launch Turkish YouTube channel

Deutsche Welle and BBC, France24, and Voice of America coalesced around a common project and launched a joint Turkish-language YouTube channel called +90.

The initiative came in response to the shrinking media landscape in Turkey where people face challenges for reaching news not controlled by President Recep Tayyip Erdogan’s massive media apparatus. The need for alternative news sources and outlets has become acute in the past few years after the government shut down more than 160 media outlets, shredding the space for opposition media.

What prompted the Western media organizations to venture into Turkey’s digital media ecosystem was the fact that Turkish people consume news on the Turkish version of international media outlets, such as Deutsche Welle Turkce, Sputnik Turkey, BBC Turkce, and many others.

“Our four media outlets will provide a comprehensive offering of news, partly with the aim of strengthening freedom of speech and the press,” Deutsche Welle Director General Peter Limbourg said after the announcement of the initiative.

“We want to use our YouTube channel to provide viewers with credible information that will help them form their own opinions,” Deutsche Welle quoted him as saying.

“This is a truly unique collaboration with global media outlets aiming to deliver content to a Turkish-speaking audience that is interested in international politics, business, science, and culture.”

The four broadcasters say the channel will feature a broad range of sociopolitical topics covered in reports, background stories and interviews, the Deutsche Welle reported.

Turkish journalists will take a leading part in the project. Erkan Arikan, who recently became the director of DW’s Turkish-language news, will take the editorial leadership to determine the content of the channel along with Isil Nergiz, another Turkish journalist.

“We are concentrating on topics that people talk about in Turkish society,” Arikan said at the press conference while launching the initiative in Istanbul on Monday.

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