Golden Rules of Tallahassee Democrat “Faith and Courtesy”

International Center for Journalists continues to realize cross border projects all around the world. One of them is Turkish-Armenian-American journalists exchange program which combines 7 Turkish and 6 Armenian journalists to make them observers in different American media organs. Our author Mehmet Fatih Oztarsu is one of the participants of this project. Every journalists have gone to different regions of the US and they are visitors of American journalists. Oztarsu lives in Florida with his Armenian partner Ofelya Kamavosyan and observes American media mechanism`s differences. He compares business ethics, journalism style and effects of Tallahassee Democrat with the direction of International Center for Journalists. The author shares his observations with interesting points for us:

Golden Rules of Tallahassee Democrat “Faith and Courtesy”

“I believe the importance of comparison for all mechanisms in a state as a person who works in international politics for Turkish media. Because comparison creates development and revision. Turkish media has too many differences if we compare with media organs of the US and Europe. I have a chance to observe the US media with the support of International Center of Journalists. Also this chance creates new perspectives to compare media activities within the US media organs.

I work with our American colleagues in Tallahasse Democrat which has a great effect on media outlook in Florida. Florida is similar to Adana and Antalya with its business and vacation structures. But it has some differences with Turkish media activities.

First of all business system has no any hard discipline style not as Turkey. Hierarchy style creates big walls between workers and managers to prevent free dialogue in Turkey. Dialogue has only one meaning to share business issues. In addition there is a big problem to not pay normal salaries for workers. Tallahassee Democrat pays salaries and encourage journalists to make their job perfect. If we think that a young journalist earns 30.000 dolar for a year from media organs, it will be a great utopic dream in Turkey. There are no big differences for life style and conditions between Turkey and Florida. Only problem is that workers can not earn their normal salaries and authorities want to employ them free. This terrible reality is not only for media organs, also for think tanks, research centers and other institutions. All of them want to see all workers should sacrifice them for their institutions, no right regulation for salaries and promotions. But it is different in the US. All managers work to encourage workers with material and spiritual opportunities to make their job easy and perfect. From my first day in Tallahassee Democrat, every colleagues from legislative news editor to sport author wonder my job in Turkey. They care about it not like in Turkish system. I congratulate them because of their very polite approaches. Also it is not a ceremony for foreigners. It is same to new workers from outside. This is a good example for business ethics. As I said, it is clear to understand their ethical and strong position when we talk about annual salaries.

Daily meetings are twice in Tallahasse Democrat. Additionally other editors get together to analyse their periodic business. These meetings provide free atmosphere with free discussion and there is no hierarchic situation among managers and colleagues. They discuss their policies for previous and next days. It shares us they will achieve for best future with these working styles. Key sentence is like that : “You are an important person and you can be successful.” This is a symbol of Tallahassee Democrat’s policy. All colleagues are ready to share their experiences with you whoever you are.

About reporting subject, commonly all circumstances of federal region are important. Also people care about magazine news.  Especially, wedding ceremony in the UK followed by too many people and it took first step in most read news. Actually, we can say about Turkish public opinion care about magazine after popular political issues.

The most important reality is that everybody wants to know you and they invite you to their home as visitor. This is important to come together for a common ground in Tallahassee Democrat. Especially everyone asks whether have you seen alligators or not. If you saw any alligator here, you are not a foreigner but one of the experienced Tallahassean. Florida and Tallahassee Democrat continues to their job with golden rule of their life : Faith and courtesy.”

Mehmet Fatih ÖZTARSU – Observer of Tallahassee Democrat

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