The challenges facing quality and independent journalism in Turkey have never been greater. The increased political pressure on the free press, a growing number of physical and judicial attacks on journalists, censorship, and new and repressive legislation to restrict access to digital media platforms paint a bleak future for the media sector. With pro-government outlets dominating the mainstream print and broadcast media, critical and independent news organizations increasingly depend on social media platforms to reach the public. Nevertheless, innovative methods and digital solutions are inspiring a new generation of journalists and demonstrating that independent, ethical, and quality journalism is still possible despite the political, regulatory, and financial challenges.

Organized by the International Press Institute (IPI) Turkey National Committee and co-hosted by Bahçeşehir University on its Beşiktaş campus in Istanbul from November 4 to 5, 2021, IPI’s first annual Turkey Media Symposium, entitled “The New Media Rising”, seeks to bring together a new generation of young journalists and journalism students from across Turkey with international and local experts, journalists from the digital, visual, and print media sectors.

Through panels organized around timely themes such as “The Future of News in the Age of Digital Platforms,” “Finding and Creating Jobs in New Media,” and “Now is the Time to Hear from Young Journalists,” participants have a rare opportunity to engage with one another and debate how to build a new dynamic and sustainable media environment for Turkey.

Daniela Pinheiro, a prominent journalist from Brazil, will attend the symposium as the keynote speaker.

There will also be a screening of the documentary “A Dark Place”, a joint collaboration between the OSCE Representative on Freedom of the Media and IPI. The film features first-hand experiences shared by leading women journalists targeted with online violence and experts in the fields of human rights, gender and media freedom from Serbia, Spain, the UK, Finland, the U.S., Turkey and Russia. A Q&A session with Javier Luque, the documentary’s director and IPI’s head of digital communications, and a representative of the OSCE RFOM office will follow the documentary screening.

↓↓↓ See the full programme below ↓↓↓

Except those featuring international speakers, panels will take place in Turkish, with simultaneous interpretation into English provided on Zoom.

See Speaker Biographies


Thursday, November 4

9:30 – 10:00  Opening Remarks
Prof. Tunç Bozbura, Vice Rector, Bahçeşehir University
Prof. H. Kemal Suher, Dean of the School of Communications, Bahçeşehir University
Assoc. Prof. Tirşe Erbaysal Filibeli, Head of the New Media Department, Bahçeşehir University
Emre Kızılkaya, Chair, IPI Turkey National Committee

10:00 – 10:45  Keynote Speech (ENG)
Daniela Pinheiro
, Former Editor-in-Chief, Época (Brazil)

10:45 – 12:00 Panel I: Enough, it’s time for young journalists to speak now

  • New generation’s view on journalism
  • The youth in the media sector
  • New directions in journalism
  • The transformation of journalism training

Moderator: Orhan Şener, Director, TGS Academy

Panelists: Hazal Ocak (Cumhuriyet), Selin Uğurtaş (IPI Turkey National Committee), Burak Ütücü (Journo, Independent Türkçe), Burak Tatari (Halk TV)

12:15 – 13:15  Panel II: Q&A with Nevşin Mengü 

  • Transformation from the old center media to the new mainstream
  • How to build your own media

Moderator: Emre Kızılkaya (IPI Turkey National Committee)          
Speaker: Nevşin Mengü,
YouTube news channel owner; DW Turkish

13:15 – 14:15  Break

14:15 – 16:15 Panel III: How is journalism being transformed around the world?

  • International reporting standards (professional, technological, ethical, etc.)
  • The advantages and disadvantages of working for international media organizations in Turkey
  • International cooperation opportunities in journalism

Moderator: Gülsin Harman (IPI Turkey National Committee)

Panellists: Şafak Timur (The New York Times), Uğur Yılmaz (Bloomberg)

16:15 – 17:30  Panel IV: “A Dark Place” – Documentary screening followed by Q&A with the film director (ENG) (In-person ONLY)

Speakers: Javier Luque Martinez (IPI Head of Digital Communications), Julia Haas (OSCE RFoM Project Officer)

Moderator: Gülsin Harman

17:30 – 18:30 Cocktail/Networking

Friday, November 5

10:00 – 11:30  Panel I: Finding and creating jobs in new media

  • Business models, financing of new media enterprises
  • New platforms and tools
  • The relationship between new media and freelance journalism

Moderator: Mustafa Kuleli, Editor-in-chief, Journo

Panelists: Kaya Heyse (Medyascope), Reha Başoğul (Sözcü), Minez Bayülgen (Kapsül), Damla Pekgöz (Tek Çare Uzay)

11:45 – 13:15  Panel II: The future of news in the age of digital platforms

  • The new problems of the new media: “fake news”, digital echo chambers, hate speech, discrimination
  • The impact of platforms on business models for media and regulation schemes

Moderator: Emre Kızılkaya (Chair, IPI Turkey National Committee)

Panelists: Assoc. Prof. Tirşe Erbaysal Filibeli (Head of the New Media Department, Bahçeşehir University), Gülin Çavuş (Teyit), Dr. Can Ertuna (Bahçeşehir University), Ümit Alan (BirGün)

13:15 – 14:00  Break

14:00 – 16:00  Panel III: The last exit: Quality journalism

  • Investigative journalism in the age of uncertainties (and amid allegations of corruption, such as those raised by Sedat Peker)
  • How should journalists cover such complex issues as corruption, migration, health, and the climate crisis?

Moderator: İpek Yezdani (Vice Chair, IPI Turkey National Committee)

Panelists: İpek Özbey (Cumhuriyet), Faruk Bildirici (Media Ombudsman), İsmail Saymaz (Halk TV)

16:15 – 16:45: Panel IV: Q&A with a BBC Editor (JOINING ONLINE)

  • What skills are global media outlets looking for in the new generation of journalists?

Speaker: Murat Nişancıoğlu, Editor, BBC Türkçe

Moderator: İpek Yezdani (IPI Turkey National Committee)