Educating the World on Press Freedom in Turkey

By Dean’s Intern Emma Dion at Voice of America

Emma DionAs a documentary intern for Voice of America, my primary responsibilities include conducting research, writing project proposals and shadowing the team’s production process. This summer, the documentary unit has been working on a five-part series highlighting the fight for press freedom in Turkey. At the center of this fight are journalists who sacrifice their freedom and safety for the sake of the public’s right to know the truth.

Most of my day-to-day work is focused on this topic. On one occasion, research brought me to the Library of Congress. I sat in the African and Middle Eastern reading room for hours, scanning through 18th century books and pamphlets in search for illustrations drawn by Theodoros Kasapis, who was a cartoonist from the Ottoman Empire. The books had been compiled and bound by a historian over a century ago. I was astonished by the opportunity to even see the fading, tattered pages, never mind flip through them myself. The craftsmanship on each page was so incredible to see, pictures do no justice.

EmmaImageOneI had little knowledge about the issues surrounding press freedom in Turkey prior to being hired for this position. Three months later, I’ve come out of this internship with a vast knowledge on the matter. One of the main reasons that I am drawn to journalism is the ability to educate the public on stories that matter. My experience at Voice of America reaffirmed my commitment to this cause. My contribution to the documentary unit will help to educate viewers from all over the world about an issue that is still plaguing Turkey in 2019. The documentary’s relevance rings true today, as the country remains the world’s worst jailer of journalists.