A journalist is someone who is always ready for any small or big event and crisis to guide public opinion with their documented, honest and professional news and reporting in the right direction. Journalists, who are one of the key figures on this important issue, must accept the many dangers in finding the truth of the issue and conveying it to the people.
Mordad 17 in the Iranian calendar corresponding to August 8 has been designated as Iran Journalists Day to commemorate the martyrdom of Iranian journalist Mahmoud Saremi who was martyred along with eight members of the Consulate General of the Islamic Republic of Iran in Afghanistan on August 8. , 1988.
August 8 in Iran is the day of commemoration of journalists who are always at the forefront of public awareness in various cultural, artistic, social, religious, economic, political and sporting fields.
To shed light on the role of journalists in society, we reached out to experienced Turkish journalist Aynur Tattersall. She graduated from the Faculty of Communication of Aegean University in Journalism in Izmir. She started her career in journalism in 1996. She obtained her Masters in “Media” in England. In 2008, she started working as a London correspondent for Doğan News Agency (DHA) in Hürriyet’s London office. She still works as a journalist in London. Aynur Tattersall, who has lived in the UK for 21 years, is a yellow press card holder and a member of the British Association of National Journalists (NUJ).
Here is the text of the interview with Aynur in which she shared her views and experiences with the audience of MPs:
Journalists’ Day is celebrated on August 8 in Iran. Is Journalists’ Day also commemorated in your country?
In Turkey, we celebrate Press Day on July 24. Also in the UK, we celebrate May 3rd as World Press Freedom Day.
Since there is no International Journalists Day in the world, what is your suggestion to organize such a World Day, given the important role of journalists?
As far as I know each year, May 3 is a date which celebrates the fundamental principles of press freedom, to assess press freedom around the world also to defend the media against attacks on their independence and to render tribute to journalists who lost their lives in the exercise of their profession.
Do you like your job as a journalist and what do you think are the difficulties of working as a journalist?
I love my job as a journalist, it’s the best job for me and I’m happy that I chose to be a journalist. I always feel like it’s not a job for me. It’s a lifestyle. As a journalist, you will face something different every day. Plus, you can be there when the story happens.
Every job has its difficulties. The most important thing is to love what you do every day. When obstacles arise, focus only on the solutions, not the problem.
Considering the many trips you have taken to different parts of the world as a journalist so far, which country has caught your eye? Why?
Each country I have been to was different and I came back with many happy memories and many learnings about life. All of the challenges and opportunities that the journey brings to you help you discover who you are in a way that is only possible on the road.
The people you meet become the most valuable names on your contact list. They become places on the map to visit and call later.
Sometimes it’s only far from home that you realize that you have skills that you have never used. You discover yourself through travels. And more importantly, meeting people from other cultures will teach you that the way you look at the world is not the way everyone does. In fact, your perspective can have major blind spots.
As a journalist, seeing the world and learning about other cultures will improve your vision and grip on reality.
Have you ever traveled to Iran? What did you think of Iran before visiting it? Are there any changes in your mentality after visiting Iran?
I have traveled the world, spent a lot of time over the past 25 years in many different countries. I visited Tehran and Isfahan for a week.
It was one of my unforgettable visits. I loved taking pictures in different parts of the country. I felt welcomed and fascinated.
Even though I just visited only two cities, Iran is such an amazing country to travel to. The architecture in Iran amazed me and the landscapes of this country are precious. The friendliness of the Iranian people, as well as the culture, fascinated me.
I was a little worried about going to Iran before my visit as I thought the country might not be safe enough. But it is also very misunderstood, with many people believing the propaganda they hear in the media about the dangerousness or difficulty of traveling to Iran. I felt so safe on my trip.
The Iranian people are very friendly and helpful. They want you to have a good time while visiting Iran.
As a journalist, how do you see the importance of the media in world affairs and the decisions of senior officials?
The role of the media in world affairs and politics goes beyond advertising. Media coverage has directly influenced people’s lives and brought new actors – mostly non-state – into the foreign policy-making process and has been a source of rapidly updated and available information for senior officials.
It also accelerated the pace of diplomatic communications from month to week and week to minute and brought the crises to the world’s attention. In some cases, leaders have had to tackle these issues even though it seems they were not high on their agenda.
Media involvement in diplomacy is becoming increasingly important as heads of state and non-state actors increasingly use the media as a major instrument of communication and negotiation.
Journalists have even at times taken on the role of diplomats, both in crisis and peacemaking situations.
Interview by Zahra Mirzafarjouyan