The Newsroom: A Visit to Hürriyet

Columbia Business School students visit the office of Hürriyet in Istanbul.Photo: David Lerman
Columbia Business School students visit the office of Hürriyet in Istanbul.
Photo: David Lerman
hurrieyt 2
Tijen Mergen, a marketing executive at Hürriyet, talks about recent shifts in the Turkish media landscape.
Photo: David Lerman

By Aziza Jamgerchinova

Our visit to Hürriyet starts with a brief welcome reception in the main atrium of the company’s headquarters in Istanbul.  Modern art pieces, including paintings, posters and sculptures, give the office the Google vibe.  There is no trace of cubicles, and everything feels young and fun.

After the reception our group is invited to an auditorium, where Tijen Mergen, a marketing executive at Hürriyet, and Bulent Mumay, a Web Coordinator, tell us about Hürriyet Dünyası, or the World of Hurriyet.

The media company’s flagship publication is a newspaper by the same name.  The daily covers domestic and international news, sports, arts and culture, and features opinion pieces from leading Turkish journalists and social influencers.  Following the latest media trends, Hürriyet has been aggressively expanding its online presence.  The web edition of the newspaper features video reports and user-generated content like Twitpic images.  Mr. Mumay, who leads the digital team, tells us about a recent success during the coverage of a bomb attack in Izmir in August of 2012.  The web edition of the newspaper broke the story by publishing the very first image of the blast’s aftermath that the editors were able to find through Twitter.

Hürriyet is owned by Doğan Holding which today ranks among Turkey’s top three conglomerates.  Doğan is active in six business areas, among which media and energy get a special attention.  In addition to Hürriyet, Doğan has a joint ownership with Time Warner of CNN Türk.

After the presentation, we are invited for lunch at Hürriyet’s cafeteria.  Mr. Mumay and a few other executives are able to join us, so the conversation about Turkey’s media continues.

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