3178) A Success Story In Media Relations: ATAA’s New Website www.mediawatchnow.com

Mediawatchnow.com © This content Mirrored From  http://armenians-1915.blogspot.com By: Ergun KIRLIKOVALI,
President elect, ATAA, November 24, 2010

In their first meeting of the board of directors a year and a half ago, the newly elected administrators of the Assembly of Turkish American Associations (1), were hard at work with a long list of items on their agenda. Mindful of the urgent need to establish a clear division of labor, they started discussing issues and challenges facing them that ranged from membership, fundraising, resources, budgets, commissions, and organizing many events of social, cultural, and/or academic significance and others. One among them, however, seemed to stand out: media.


How do we, Turkish Americans, get fair, balanced, objective, well-informed, and timely coverage in media of issues that matter to Turkish Americans?
. .

How do we respond to deliberate and ceaseless defamations in media of Turkish history, culture, and heritage, mostly if not entirely, perpetrated by Armenian lobbyists, activists, and/or fanatics, as well as their paid or unpaid cohorts, proxies, and/or allies?

How do we encourage a more informed, positive, and reverential coverage in media of Turkey and Turkey-USA relations?

How do we use the state-of-the-art technologies to achieve all this rapidly while involving an ever growing number of ATAA members?

Cognizant of my work with media and my more than five thousand letters sent to media over the more than three decades, President Gunay Evinch, turned to me and asked if I, as the president elect, would be interested in spearheading this new mission. My answer was quick and short: “It would be my pleasure.”


Thus was established in July of 2009, one of the most effective tools to watch and respond to the media: www.mediawatchnow.com.

First, I had to create the parameters of this task, then gather around me those capable individuals who could help me launch this effort, and finally fuel growth by encouraging more volunteers to join this move. Here were the parameters on which www.mediawatchnow.com was founded:

1- Selected items to cover: Internet is an infinite cyberspace with millions of articles added daily. Since we cannot be all thing to all people, we had to be selective in what we cover. I decided to focus my attention on the most nagging of the problems we face today: the Turkish-Armenian conflict that is deliberately misrepresented as genocide by the fraudulent and deceptive Armenian lobby. While other issues like TRNC (Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus,) PKK (The Kurdish terrorist Group,) Turkey’s membership to EU, and more, could also be covered, as needed and justified, none of these issues were popping up as frequently as the bogus Armenian genocide. Unscrupulous genocide peddlers and their fellow crooks had to be checked decisively and continuously.

2- Selected responses to give: Each item selected above had to be analysed and talking points developed. The registered volunteers then would log on to first read the article and then use the talking points provided to respond to it. Thus, the entire process could take only a few minutes. One doesn’t need to search for the article, or the link, or the material to write. One could respond to as many articles that given day as one would like. To save our limited resources, crude Armenian propaganda sites—including but not limited to panorama.am, aysor, PanARMENIAN.Net, Information-Analytic Agency NEWS.am, Asbarez, Armenian Weekly, Armenian Mirror Spectator, and others—were simply ignored, since we know what the Armenians claim and, frankly, do not care about their lies. But we do care about what third parties and the mainstream media say.

3- An endless calendar provided: Starting with first day some 500 days ago, one can log on to this site and click on any given day since this site’s inception to find out what articles attacked Turkey most that day and see if one’s responses were posted or how others responded. Thus, this feature would provide an easy tracking and follow-up capabilities to the volunteer.

4: Emergency response feature: While the website is mostly allowed to run on its own devices, some monitoring is both possible and, sometimes, necessary. First, some Armenian Diaspora fanatics who manage to register under fake aliases to sabotage and/or derail this project need to be weeded out constantly, for the success of this project. Next, volunteers need to be urged to focus on a certain article and send responses immediately, especially when it comes to voting, response-by-deadlines, and/or severely racist and dishonest articles. The latter need to be pounced on immediately, decisively, and forcefully, to discourage future use of Armenian-supplied disinformation and to hint at Turkish-American presence reaching economy of scale.

5: Other.

Next a group of young and brilliant Turkish American website designers, led by Zafer Acar—the owner and operator of many websites—was called to action. Mr. Acar and his team whipped it up in record time. The rest is history.

Today, if anyone, Turkish-American or not, thinks that Turkish American presence in the media has curiously increased recently and more responses by Turkish Americans are posted daily in the blogosphere every day, the one should know that ATAA’s website, www.mediawatchnow.com and its hundreds of registered and dedicated volunteers must have something to do with it.


(1) The Assembly of Turkish American Associations, known mostly by its easily recognizable acronym A.T.A.A., is a non-profit NGO and an umbrella organization established in 1979 in Washington DC, USA, to combat disinformation about and defamation of Turkey and Turkish-Americans. To become a member or to make tax-deductible donations, please click on: www.ataa.org


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