After 117 years, journalists seek professionalism beyond language accuracy
On April 22nd, journalists of Kurdistan marked the 117th anniversary of issuing the first Kurdish newspaper ‘Kurdistan’ in 1898 in Cairo. ‘Kurdistan’ was at that time a historic step, an onset, and a great Kurdish cultural project. Prior to the publication of the first Kurdish newspaper by Miqdad Madhat Bdirxan, the Kurdish language wasn't used in journalism. Education in Farsi, Turkish and Arabic was common within the limited Kurdish reading class. ‘Kurdistan’ did not only wake the intellectuals up politically and culturally, but also paved the way to issue newspapers among the literate and freedom fighters of Kurdistan.
After 117 years, the journalists are still looking for a daily newspaper perfectly satisfactory with the denotation, aim and duties of a newspaper. They’re still looking for further publication, widening the democratic ground and transferring more accurate and effective information to society. Journalists are still seeking professionalism and better stimulation of media work.
Since 1898, the Kurdish media has witnessed many developments and progress. It wants to reach the level of world’s papers in terms of context. The message and duty it carries socially, politically and culturally are not less important than power and governing. In terms of distribution, publishing, designing, the journalistic language, the Kurdish language is a different and a new matter. They've taken benefit from computers and the new communication methods, printing, delivering and publishing technologies. In every occasion, journalists hail the leading characters in journalism. They commemorate and praise those who started professionally and issued newspapers with personal efforts (such as the Bedirxanis, Hussein Huzni and Piramerd)
.According to official sources, about 1000 media outlets (seen, heard and printed) are published in Kurdistan today. All of which hold various ideologies and opinions. An unbounded multiplicity in media has popped up, which sometimes journalists themselves doubt the multitude and broadness of those outlets. They sometimes are considered as threats to well-management of the journalistic message, duty and morality amidst the pluralism-filled atmosphere and space.
Pluralism is not bad if it evolves the ability, power and professional duty of journalists and media workers. We witness an incredibly increasing social media. Hundreds of Kurdish websites with no limits, censorship, accuracy and responsibility have become the main rival of traditional media and journalism.
Journalists are looking out with interest to be professionals. Departments of media and journalism have been opened in universities of Kurdistan. There are some departments of media in the institutes, and tens of developing journalistic ability centers have been opened. Those are evidence that journalism is important and moving towards more professionalism.
Language in newspapers is in deep crises at levels of message, style, aim and then (spelling). Unfortunately, journalists have considered language as a minor task at both levels. As they’re aiming to move towards professionalism, they should also bear in mind that the negligence of the style and the Kurdish spelling, which are the principal and basic requirements of good journalism and can have a direct impact on getting the message and information to the audience, need accuracy, revision and scientific correction. So it’s the duty of the journalists to take interest in the language of media and should learn about how to use the Kurdish language correctly and accurately. Because they often forget that being professional with disregard of the language is like a one-footed man walking with a stick.