Crises between Iraq and Turkey: absence of information and strict statements
Iraqi Media House has monitored through its 25th report the media coverage of the diplomatic crisis between Iraq and Turkey. The crisis begun against the backdrop of the presence of Turkish troops in Ba'shiqah camp, north of Mosul. Another reason lies in the Turkish threats about participating in the military campaign that launched in 17 October to restore the city from ISIS. The report contains variant samples representing 19 mass media varied between visual, written and electronic media. And these samples included a survey of news and T.V reports since the outbreak of the crisis in 1st of September to the 1st of November.
First: Monitoring report results:
1- The vast majority of the crisis coverage were the press releases issued by issued by official and non-official institutions. These press releases did not back their information with analysis, different opinions, or views of military experts and political analysts.
2- Media and T.V channels epically had based on the statements of Iraqi politicians and officials, which included direct and indirect threats such as: "Turkish soldiers will return in wooden coffins". Also, editors and presenters failed to take advantage of the presence of Iraqi officials to get information and documents, rather than just convulsive opinions.
3- Some media outlets were biased in the coverage of the crisis; concentrating on the governmental view without mentioning statements from the Turkish side. Some media outlets have gone even too far using deputies and politicians from only one side in their coverage.
4- Media has exploited the crisis in targeting forces, parties, and local political figures by producing analytical reports and special statements depending on well-known religious, social, and political figures. Some stories have even spread on social media on the scenarios of the Turkish interference in Mosul and the Iraqi political figures, who will help them.
5- Some other media outlets maintained an “accepted limit” of professional coverage, covering the crisis depending on views from the governments of both countries trying to concentrate on the technical points although of its hardness because of the discretion of officials and the absence of experts and local specialized persons in regional affairs.
6- Most media outlets ignored official Iraqi and Turkish opinions that were months before the crisis regarding the existence of Turkish forces in Iraq, and which were important to understand the main cause of the crisis. Media failed to depend on documents and maps that explain locations of Turkish forces and determine accurate distances between it and Mosul and the distance of delving inside Iraq.
1- Media should put professionalism on the top of its priorities in covering major crisis by getting information from concerned politicians and locals and stop getting statements from non-specialized persons, who express their own views or convulsive threats without any knowledge, which could contribute to more deepening of the crisis and widening the breach in the social fabric.
2- Journalists covering crisis should provide a big data base, includes official and non-official views, which come before the crisis and recheck it from official websites then compare it with current views. They should also have more experience that enables them of using maps and analyze it to avoid mistakes in describing locations and distances.
3- Media should pay more attention to international coverage of the crisis, with the help of translators capable of providing news editors with reports from international newspapers and TV channels to make him able of exploring views of certain concerned sides instead of covering only local views.