The media outlets operating locally constitute the majority of the printed media in Turkey. As the main practitioners of communication, information and freedom of expression at the local level, these media organizations also play a key role in the monitoring of democracy and human rights  at the local level. Despite its wide scope within the sector and its critical importance in terms of local democracy, there is no comprehensive due diligence study that reveals the current conditions of the local media in Turkey. In this respect, the data on demographic characteristics of local media in Turkey such as the number of media outlets, publication channels, types, periods and contents, or the number of journalists working locally, remains limited. Based on this shortcoming, in the Local Media Database Research project, we conducted a situation analysis and need assessment research examining the current conditions of local media in Turkey. 

In this study, which constitutes the first census research focusing on local media in Turkey, we aimed to identify all local outlets operating in 81 provinces and the basic demographical data of these outlets. Within the scope of the project, which was carried out for 8 months between July 2020 and February 2021, a mixed research methodology consisting of two complementary stages was applied. At the first stage, all currently existing media databases and press lists were examined, and provincial-based special web searches were carried out in order to identify the existing outlets that serve as a reference for the local media space in Turkey. As a result of this detailed desk-based research, it was detected that there were 3240 local outlets operating in the local media. In the second phase of the research, a comprehensive field research was carried out to verify the data obtained during the desk-based research and to collect the data that could not be reached during the desk-based research, and a survey was conducted with 1222 local media outlets. In line with the analysis of the data obtained within the scope of the project, the "Local Media Database Research Report" was created, which reveals the current situation and demographic profilization of the local media outlets  in Turkey.

With this work we carry out, we aim to increase the visibility of the local media’s struggle for survival  and the obstacles to freedom of the press at the local context. In this context, the "Understanding Local Media in Turkey" research series, which we took the first step with the Local Media Database Research, will continue with a quantitative field study that deeply examines the vocational problems and obstacles faced by local journalists.

We would like to convey our gratitude to the contributors who supported  the Local Media Database Survey with outstanding efforts, 

  • ETKINIZ EU Program and its team, which supported the desk-based and the field research processes of the research,
  • The Journalists' Union of Turkey (TGS), which supported the design and desk-based design process of the research ,
  • Faselis platform and its founder, who contributed to the desk-based research process by sharing their database,
  • Journalists who supported the verification process of the research: Salim Büyükkaya, Güven Buğa, Demet Aran, Cevriye Çoşkun, Pınar Bilir, Lokman Erdoğan, Uğur Akagündüz, Yeşim Özdemir, Jiyan Jin, Asya Yaşarikiz, Selma Kara, Zeliha Yalçın Aksan, Özlem Dikmen and Bekir Güneş.