Ethical Issues in New Media Journalism: The Example of TRNC Political News

Ayhan Dolunay, Mustafa Çaluda


This study purposes to identify ethical violations and to offer solutions to prevent ethical violations on political news in the future on digital newspapers. In this context, the press scanning technique, one of the qualitative research methods, was preferred. Four digital newspapers operating in the Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus (TRNC) such as Kıbrıs Postası, Gıynık Gazetesi, Hakikat Gazetesi, and Özgür Gazete were included in the sample. Of the 4009 news published in the relevant newspapers between December 22, 2021, and January 22, 2022, 895 of the 1296 political news about the 2022 TRNC Parliamentary Early General Election, those that violated the principles of journalism were analyzed by content analysis. The findings of this study show ethical violations in the relevant categories: personal rights, public order, the reputation and privacy of the state, and moral values. Most of the ethical violations detected related to personal rights. In addition to qualitative analysis, quantitative statistical data were included, and the findings were supported. In this context, ethical violations were detected in 10% of the news reviewed. As a result, to solve the unethical digital journalism problem (to reduce the rate that cannot be underestimated and/or prevent the ethical violations in future), it is recommended to increase the frequency of vocational training activities for members of the press, to make legal regulations and to increase the controls and sanctions for digital broadcasting. This study contributes to the literature and practice in terms of communication and journalism ethics. Since the study focuses on the recent period, it offers novelty and originality in the context of including the current and specifically the analyses of the news.


Keywords: political news, new media, restrictions on freedom of expression, ethical violations, TRNC.




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