Saturday, April 29, 2006

Reporters on the Job

21 April , 2006

Tuning In: When violence broke out in southeastern Turkey earlier this month, Yigal Schleifer went down to check out the scene. His main quest was to figure out why young Kurds were joining the outlawed PKK party, whose guerrillas were clashing with Turkish security forces. But every time he tried to interview people, all they seemed to want to talk about was Roj TV (see story).

"Every time I reported on the violence and the protests, Roj came up. It got people animated - more so than the protests," says Yigal. When he was interviewing a mother whose guerrilla son had recently been killed by Turkish forces, he asked her how she'd found out about her son's death. "On Roj TV," she replied - as if that was the most natural thing.

From his conversations, Yigal also learned how Roj gave Turkey's Kurds a sense of what was going on with Kurds in other countries - Iran, Iraq, and Syria. "Some of these programs on Roj give a pan-Kurdish perspective which people seem to appreciate, but you can imagine how threatening that might be for the countries where this is seen," he notes.

David Clark Scott
World editor

Source : Christian Science Monitor