This week-long program kicked off June 8 and runs thru June 16.
It comes at a historic time in Turkey, where elections were recently held handing a major defeat to the ruling government—one not very friendly to the press. Many of the questions for me here today dealt with my thoughts about freedom of the press and the persecution of journalists.
From the editor
The editor in chief of Zaman, Ekrem Dumanli, who was arrested and whose newspapers has received threats of government confiscation, had words of inspiration for the audience of future journalists:
“Some of our politicians in Turkey don’t understand the concept of press freedom at all,” Dumanli said. “A main challenge for the Turkish press is to find journalists, who understand freedom of the press, who can learn and internalize the essence and philosophy of your profession.”
“Sensationalism prevails in so much of the Turkish press today. Ask yourself the question: what is opinion, what is facts, what is background, why utlizie a certain color in the newspaper, what’s a boulevard paper..?
Dumanli showed various Turkish newspapers with the logos covered to the students, asking the question: Which newspaper is this?
Hard to tell which one was which. Little difference exists, the headlines are all loud and full of color.
Our newspaper Zaman is different. But when I invited reaction obout our latest redesign, I got the following reaction:
“Oh, this is too European and clean. In Turkeuy we like aggressive, bold and colorful dailies. The new Zaman is too European.”
Dumanli is proud of his newspaper and considers it the independent voice of Turkish newspapers.
Read Dumanli's piece for The Washington Post:
The level of media subservience to the government in today’s Turkey is unprecedented. Most media are directly controlled, with government supervisors monitoring all editorial content. Anyone who strays is harassed or fired. But as members of the free press, or whatever is left of it in Turkey, we are simply doing our jobs. All it takes to be called a terrorist under Erdogan’s regime is speaking out against government corruption and abuses of power. Verbal attacks, smear campaigns by pro-government media and legal harassment soon follow.
Zaman is indeed elegant and clean, perhaps Turkey’s best designed newspaper.
In one of the presentations at the Newspaper Days conference, Selim Simsiroglu, an art director at Zaman presented the students with design and style highlights of his newspaper.
Logotype: Uses Copperplate Gothic.
Typography: Amplitude in 9 different weights, plus Palatino in 10 points for text.
Color palette: relies on blue (for the logo) as opposed to the red that prevails in almost all Turkish newspapers, perhaps inspired by the color of the Turkish flag. The secondary color used to give Zaman a uniform look is orange. Blue and orange combine well throughout.
Symbology—Zaman uses arrows as a visual element of continuity.
“We try to be as simple and minimalist as possible,” he said.
“Our front page does not abuse strategies we utilize above the name of the newspaper. Variety is the key, it keeps the readers from getting bored.”
Finally, he urged the young designers and journalists in the audience to give value to the importance of the designer/editor relationship.
“Working together closely with the editor, the designer can better understand the story and make it esker to assimilate. Designers must be able to be flexible, the page you originally designed may be changed, so you need to provide solutions that adapt to the content. The designer ultimately must be tuned to the content,
“At Zaman, we insist that designers follow the stories of the day, be familiar with the content ……be aware of the issues to be able to integrate it to their work, enrich their page. Designers must be familiar with the content. The designer must be informed.”