The LATimes and Turkish Coverage

BY GAREN YEGPARIAN

In this second of three part series on LATimes coverage of interest to Armenians, I’ll address some Turkish-topic patterns I noticed over the past two-plus years.

What’s notable is the tremendously lopsided proportion of Armenian vs. Turkish coverage, approximately a one-to-five ratio, respectively.  If we were to add coverage of Kurdish issues within Turkey, that ratio would become roughly one-to-ten.  But I prefer to discuss the Kurds integrally as a nation, not based on the blight of occupation to which they’re subjected.

Why is there such disproportional coverage of things Armenian, vs. Turkish, by the newspaper serving the second largest Armenian community outside Armenia?  To a point, this is understandable.  Turkey’s population dwarfs Armenia’s approximately twenty-to-one.  It is a rising power, economically and diplomatically, in its region.  It straddles the crossroads of two continents and four or five civilizations (on occupied Armenian lands).  It has conflicts with all its neighbors.  Heck, let’s even give the LATimes credit for considering the interests of its Armenian readers in Turkish developments.

In addition, Turkey based, rather than broader issues also invite attention.  Turkey’s elections have been fraught with tension as has its polity with the advent of an Islam-based party’s rise to power and its conflicts with the Kemalist secular/military establishment.  Armenian related issues— Obama’s April 2009 visit and the apology movement —have earned coverage.  The long-enduring process of joining the EU certainly merits reporting.  Turkey’s internal militants, “deep state”, human and civil rights abuses and evolution, and relationships with neighboring states (especially Iran and Israel) all understandably are of concern to the world.

Yet, this doesn’t explain why we read about: hikers’ deaths in an avalanche, a Turkish soprano’s (whose fame rests largely in Italy where she lived) passing, floods, infants dying of infections, how great a place the country is to visit in Travel Section puff pieces (I’m not even addressing the “visit Turkey” advertising therein), i.e. human interest stories.  It also doesn’t explain the pervasive pro-Turkey bent of the editorials and op-eds (not infrequently written by Turks) appearing in the paper.

Doesn’t Armenia have virtually all of these issues?  What about Bulgaria? Romania?  Syria?  What about Turkey’s continued occupation of 40% of Cyprus?  This pro-Turkish bias must end!

As I wrote last week, clearly we have a lot to do on the media front in general, and the LATimes, in particular.  This is an important arena, though not the only one, where ideas and mindsets are formed.   

Not only should our advocacy organizations be all over the media helping set the tone and agenda of coverage of things Armenian, but also of things Turkish.  We now have enough people with the relevant and necessary competence to play in the media fray.  We just have to organize and support them financially.

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10 Comments

  1. Hayk said:

    I don’t see anything negative in Turkey getting more media coverage. We (Armenians) need this. Part of the reason the Jewish Holocaust is the most famous of all the genocides is because Germany, a significant country both then and now was involved. On the other hand, when speaking about genocides in Cambodia, Rwanda or Bosnia a majority of people (sadly) can’t even locate those countries on a map or even have an idea which continent they are on. The more popular Turkey becomes, the more attention the Armenian Genocide issue will recieve. Whoever is behind Turkey’s coverage in the media is doing us a favor. Even if its an advertisement for tourism in Turkey, it benefits our cause. We need to portray Turkey as a major power.

  2. William said:

    Armenians have to start reading the newspaper before the LA Times gives a damn about what they think.

  3. Pingback: The LATimes and Turkish Coverage | Asbarez Armenian News | armeniatoday

  4. Shakurd said:

    from the typical westerner. They don’t care about the Armienians because they dont have any moral sublimations

    l westerners sentiments against Turkey

    Armenian recognition.

  5. Well, I am pleased said:

    It is sooo pleasant to see that anything good about Turkey turns you mad. You are already insane, anyway. Poor, powerless, desperate Lobbies. I will be here to read your silly comments on 24th April hahaha, dont get me wrong, just to laugh at them.

    • sebouh said:

      Laugh all you want…….the truth never dies…..and you are a poor excuse for a human being….an oxygen theif…thats all…..so the joke is on you !!!!!!!!

  6. ermeni said:

    eh, the LA Times are losing readership and circulation in great amounts every year. i boycott that source for news.

  7. manooshag said:

    Hye Hayk, yes, any publicity for the Turk brings them to the fore – especially when the news includes some of the truly dumb foreign relations that nations has with its ‘allies’… but portray a Turkey as a major power? What a commentary on the really major powers of the world. Turkey with their Ottoman mentality – a major power?
    Au contraire, all the generations that the Turk has been down from their Asian mountains – their mentality is still of the Ottomans – bullying their way into whatever and then unable to sustain their positions. Turkey is an
    example of what nations are when they use lies – even to their own Turkish citizens – and to the world…
    Turkish denials of the Turkish Genocide of the Christian Armenians – which the world has knowledge of and
    recognizes – but the Ottoman minded Turk doesn’t hear what the rest of the world hears…. only hears itself!
    Manooshag

    • alex said:

      while we are losing time whining like babies here and there, Turkey is becoming more and more influential not only in the region but in the world. Turkey is the 14th largest economy in the world. G-20 member. We must think we are here and Turkey there.

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