By Seda Sevencan and Iclal Turan
ISTANBUL (AA) – A range of issues was discussed, including women in journalism, as part of the Turkiye-Africa Media Summit organized by Turkiye's Communications Directorate on Wednesday.
In a panel, Journalism Under Digital Siege, journalists from Namibia, Guinea, Senegal, and Turkiye addressed the challenges faced by journalists and the media sector with digitalization.
Speaking at the panel, Omer Faruk Gorcin, Anadolu Agency's deputy editor of fact-checking line, stressed the recent changes in methods of reaching news -- from radio, newspaper, and television to social media.
Gorcin said social media has become the primary source of news, saying various political interest groups, countries, and companies have started to reveal content that is open to manipulation.
Pointing out that journalists are now obliged to give more importance to their personal training due to information pollution and disinformation on social media.
Meanwhile, Ronelle Mathilda Rademeyer, editor in Namibian daily Republikein, highlighted the impact of digitalization on traditional media.
Touching on the role of digitalization in the rapid spread of misinformation and disinformation, Rademeyer said digitalization has significantly hit investigative journalism.
Also, Seynabou Diop, the head of the Radiodiffusion Television Senegalaise, pointed out the need of keeping pace with digitalization.
Lamine Guirassy, the founder of the Group Hadafo Media in Guinea, said a new journalism process started in Guinea in 2012, especially through the internet, and noted the importance of social media platforms.
- Women in journalism
Another panel on "women in journalism" was moderated by Turkish Ambassador Elif Comoglu Ulgen. It was attended by Turkish and African media and communications professionals, including Nur Ozkan Erbay, the head of the Turkish National Brand Office of the Communications Directorate, Anadolu Agency’s West Africa Correspondent Fatma Esma Arslan, Liberian radio and television network LBS' head Estelle Liberty Kemoh, and Assistant Controller at Nigeria-based News Channels Television Raji Ronke.
Erbay said journalists are excited when telling stories, working 7/24, noting that we live in the information age, which might cause disinformation. Women journalists have an important role in fighting disinformation in the post-truth world, she added.
Arslan said it is easier to be a woman journalist in Africa when compared to many parts of the world. “As a journalist in the field, I observed that working as a woman in Africa is an advantage.”
Kemoh, for her part, underlined the issue of the gender pay gap among journalists.
Raji Ronke stressed that women have to carry on their duty despite all difficulties they experience, adding that the news channel she works for is currently employing 100 women out of a total of 500 staff.