The role of media was discussed in an online conference titled “The role of journalists in the strategy of national security: Opportunities and obstacles”, held by the Kurdistan National Congress (KNK) on 16 January.
More than 100 journalists from all four parts of Kurdistan attended the conference. KNK executive council member Refik Gefur, as well as the journalists Sebriye Behmanî and Gulê Algunerhan, chaired the conference, where the difficulties facing Kurdish journalists were discussed.
Beginning in the morning hours, four different panel discussions were held relating to the current issues facing Kurdish media. Serdar Altan, Niyaz Abdullah, Hêmin Seydî and Xezne Nebî participated in the first panel discussion as speakers. Asos Herdî, Amanj Azizakndi, Zîwer Şêxo, Elîf Can Alkan made presentations in the second panel discussion, titled “The role of the media in announcing the Kurdish question”.
Another two panel discussions took place in afternoon, with the first one being “The role of media in the democratisation of society” with the participation of Feriba Muhamadi, Şiwan Mihemed, Abdurrahman Gök and Mizgîn Gorsê. The second panel discussion had the title “Obstacles and oportunities for a national media” and included presentations by the journalists Evîn Yûsif, Amed Dîcle, Kemal Reûf and Xalid Muhamadzade.
Journalists should be released
The conference included criticisms and proposals for a new approach to Kurdish media. Speakers drew attention to the responsibilty of Kurdish journalists and media outlets regarding national unity and the security of the Kurdish people.
Participants criticised the Kurdistan Regional Government on the grounds that while Turkish media and international media had no problems working in Iraqi Kurdistan, other journalist were blocked. Journalists imprisoned in Iraqi Kurdistan for sharing material on social media were also discussed, with calls for their release.
The language of media
Another topic discussed in the conference was the language of the media. It was argued that a language based on national unity, free from sexist notions and protecting Kurdish national values, should be used in media. Speakers suggested that Kurdish media adopt a common style of language, to ensure consistency, while others suggested a Kurdish platform where journalists can share their ideas.
The final declaration of the conference will be announced in the coming days.