Using a combination of hard-hitting news reporting and in-depth analysis, BBG networks provided comprehensive coverage of the attempted military coup in Turkey that began Friday and triggered chaos throughout the country. For many people in Turkey, Iran, Russia and other places around the world, the networks served as the only source of accurate and unbiased coverage of the failed coup.
VOA, RFE/RL and MBN began devoting extensive resources to the story as soon as news broke early evening Friday (local time) of the coup attempt.
VOA’s Turkish service sent a reporter and cameraman to the Pennsylvania compound of self-exiled cleric Fethullah Gulen amid speculation that he had orchestrated the coup attempt. After being the first media to convince people at the compound to allow reporters to go in, the VOA team streamed Gulen’s remarks on Facebook Live. That video has garnered 3.15 million views, 83,000 reactions (Likes, Loves, etc.), nearly 79,000 comments and 12,000 shares.
VOA FaceTime interview with former Turkish President Abdullah Gül
11. Cumhurbaşkanı Abdullah Gül son gelişmeleri Amerika'nın Sesi'ne değerlendiriyor. (CANLI YAYIN)
Posted by Amerika'nın Sesi on Friday, July 15, 2016
Overall, VOA Turkish has totaled 21 Facebook Live segments, including several interviews conducted via FaceTime, a mobile video messaging app. In exclusive interviews, the service spoke via FaceTime with former President Abdullah Gul, co-founder of the AKP party; with main opposition members who were trapped inside a bombed parliament building in Ankara; and with the head of visual operations at CNN Turkish while its TV facility in Istanbul was being raided.
VOA interviewed CNN Türk staff live as their facility was being raided
CNN Türk Haber Kamera Şefi Özcan Altıntaş CNN Türk binasından canlı anlatıyor.. CNN TÜRK BİNASINDAN CANLI YAYIN
Posted by Amerika'nın Sesi on Friday, July 15, 2016
VOA Persian was first among all international Persian-language broadcasters to report the news and stayed with the story on digital platforms and satellite into the early morning hours Saturday in Iran. VOA was also the first and the only source in Farsi reporting on President Barack Obama and Secretary of State John Kerry rejecting the coup and backing the Turkish government, as well as on reaction from other Western capitals.
Plus, VOA Persian beat all other Persian-language media in Iran in breaking the coup story on digital. The service was able to live-blog and push out more than 60 posts on digital platforms, and to live-stream four special reports via Facebook Live that have received more than 580,000 Facebook views combined.
Immediate coverage by MBN’s Alhurra Television included interviews with Turkish journalists and American experts on Turkey and continued in the ensuing days as details unraveled of the failed coup. Alhurra’s flagship talk show Free Hour hosted Turkish analysts to examine whether the coup attempt would strengthen democracy in the country or allow President Erdogan to consolidate his power.
Alhurra’s Facebook account was live streaming on Friday when its breaking news coverage started. During the more than five hours of coverage, there were 1.2 million views on Alhurra’s Facebook page, 34,000 comments, 11,600 shares and more than 66,000 reactions. MBN’s Radio Sawa hosted Turkish political analysts to discuss the coup attempt and to find out what is next for the country.
Multiple services at RFE/RL reported on the unfolding events in Turkey, using live blogs, photo galleries, infographics and video coverage. The services called on correspondents and contacts in Turkey and were able to get voices, videos, eyewitness accounts and other original content. Some of the highlights included:
- Right after the coup began, Radio Farda launched extensive live radio coverage, with witness-reporter accounts from Istanbul (among the first in the Persian media), as well as expert analysis and many audio messages and comments on Farda’s website and social media. A live blog attracted 90,000 visitors, while Farda also posted photogalleries, films including user-generated content, features analyzing the impact of the coup attempt and a list of reasons why the coup attempt failed. Interest in Farda’s social media coverage of the coup attempt was massive, with the service’s Facebook and Instagram pages receiving 25,000 likes, 2,300 comments and 600 shares from the time the coup was announced until the next morning.
- Reporter Bermet Talant of the Kyrgyz service provided eyewitness reporting that was also used by the Russian Service.
- The Tajik service provided regular updates on the coup attempt, including an exclusive video report from Taksim Square in Istanbul and an interview with a Radio Farda reporter on the reasons behind the coup attempt and its impact on Turkey’s political scene and economy.
- The Russian service created a live blog that features news about the attempted coup. Also, the service’s correspondent in Istanbul produced a report called “Suppressed,” which includes quotes from a 65-year-old pensioner, a former Turkish soldier, a CNN-Turk staffer involved in covering the coup events and a young opposition supporter.
- The Azerbaijani service reported on the one-month shutdown of private ANS television, allegedly in reaction to the station’s decision to air an interview with alleged coup leader Fethulla Gulen.
RFE/RL’s Central Newsroom also provided running updates, analysis, photos and features on the coup attempt, including a web background piece explaining who is Fethulla Gulen.