How did I become a journalist?
How did I become a journalist?
Have you ever thought about how to become a journalist?
Just like that, “First, the Faculty of Communication is finished, after graduation, you get to wander a bit, then a job interview is arranged with the human resources manager of a media group, and then you start the job.” If you do, you are sorely mistaken. For this to happen, you must either be the child of the boss of that media group or have very important connections.
In my journalism life, I saw the human resources manager only when I was going to be fired from the newspaper. In our profession, a man is not recruited by having a job interview. Human resources managers only show up when the man is fired.
Let me tell you how I became a journalist, and see how it is to become a journalist.
After completing my free primary, secondary and high school education in public school, I entered Eskişehir Anadolu University, Department of Press. I graduated in 4 years, but I did not get my diploma from school. I’ve been a journalist for 35 years, so far no one says “where is your diploma”? he didn’t say.
At that time, our school was accepting students with a special talent exam. Apart from the university entrance exam, we passed three special exams and were entitled to enter the school. In the introductory book prepared by the faculty administration, it was written that each of us would graduate as an editor-in-chief and editor-in-chief. In other words, after only 4 years of study, all newspaper bosses would be at the door waiting for us to be managers of their newspapers. No one from the school administration was telling us that you would be a reporter, but I was determined to be a reporter.
In the middle of the first semester of the school, the famous cartoonist Nehar Tüblek had come to Eskişehir for a conference. Of course, the journalists who heard that Nehar Tüblek had come to the school also filled our university with the love of news. Rather than the conference, I was following the short man with no hair and glasses, who got up every second and took a picture of Nehar Tüblek. It was as if the man was not doing journalism, but was conducting a 40-person symphony orchestra. He was pressing the shutter of the camera so seriously that he thought that the man who saw it was Sultan Suleiman, who pressed the Seal of Suleiman from right to left.
I asked and investigated, it turned out that he was the bureau chief of Hürriyet News Agency. I went and tried to meet a few times, but what is possible, every time he managed to get away from me with a lithe waist movement. But he couldn’t get rid of me that easily! What’s wrong with me, brother, I wanted to be a reporter, not an editor-in-chief. That’s why I had to do an internship at Hürriyet.
The next day, I went to Hürriyet News Agency, Eskişehir Bureau in the early morning. I saw that my nervous was sitting at that time of the morning, reading the newspaper. He was as serious while reading the newspaper as he was when taking pictures. There was no reaction on his face. From the moment I walked in, she started to look at me strangely, strangely. I told him I’m not a cannibal, I just wanted to be a trainee.
In fact, I was signing my slavery contract with this sentence, but I was speaking without my feet touching the ground because I did not know what would happen at that time. I think the guy had a special grudge against me, and before I finished, he said they didn’t need a new intern. I knew right away that he was a curmudgeon, but I had no intention of quitting journalism before it even started because of a grouch. I went in through your mouth, out through your nose. I was finally able to convince the gentleman that I was a slave disguised as a trainee.
The chief hired me as a trainee after I promised to spend all my extra time at the office. He took it, but it killed the best days of my youth. While all my friends were out with the girls, I spent my life in Office 1, Moldy Office. He was hard to please, he was angry, but he was a good journalist. He always taught me the basics of journalism. I always took him as an example when it comes to principled journalism. Kenan Şanlıer trained me as a real reporter.
Although, because I was teaching journalism, he made me work for two years in heavy responsibilities such as tea maker, office boy, cleaner and darkroom supervisor. By the way, the only thing I did in the name of journalism was typing the news written by the handwriting of the regional reporters.
Exactly two years after I walked through the door of Hürriyet News Agency, I went to my first news in my third year of university. My hands and feet got mixed up when I took a picture of the man who chopped his wife. I returned to the office as I grabbed the press release given by the police. After the chief had me rewrite the same news 10 times, he allowed me to send it to Istanbul. I waited 15 days with hope for my first news to be published. But since those in the editorial office were not aware of the importance of the issue, they did not consider it worth publishing my news. Anyway, even though my news is not used and I serve tea and coffee under the name of journalism, I loved this journalism. As I was doing an internship at the newspaper, no one could approach me because of my weather.
Anyway, I had to do journalism. Even being a trainee student was a great privilege. Also, when I thought that I was a real journalist, I was shaking with excitement. It was not enough for me to graduate from the faculty of communication and to work as a tea shop in the Eskişehir Bureau of Hürriyet News Agency for four years. Well, what should we do, I said, let’s finish the school opened by the newspaper boss and try our luck. And at the Erol Simavi Private Communication and Education Center opened by the Hürriyet Foundation after university, I studied journalism for a year, under the supervision of Orhan Birgit and Hasan Yılmaer, from one of the best journalists in the market.
What I do at school becomes the subject of another book. After graduating from Erol Simavi’s school, I was assigned to the Ankara Office of Hürriyet as an intern. I had a feeling that I would retire from internship before I could become a journalist, but I said, ‘Anyway, duty is duty,’ and immediately returned to Ankara. On August 1, 1991, I walked through the door of the Ankara Bureau and went straight to the Ankara Representative’s room. Well, the pipe, this time my torpedo was too big.
We had graduated from the school of the owner of the newspaper, and our name was named ‘Simavi’nin Çocukları’ in the whole newspaper. In that case, no one would have thought of not hiring us. We had documents with the name of the newspaper boss, like a door. I looked, the representative secretary wouldn’t let me in. I waited in front of the door for him to come out of the room. When he least expected it, I was going to impress him by showing him the certificate that I had graduated from the boss’s school.
Just then, the door opened. None of them could get out as three people tried to get out at the same time. They were so excited that they forgot they were trying to get out the door and went back inside. Of course, taking advantage of this mess, I slipped in. They continued their heated conversations as if I did not exist. At one point, I thought about showing my boss’s card and getting them to shut up. But from the very first day, I decided to make a debut like this and wait so that I wouldn’t be in a situation as if I was making a show of strength.
The tall, burly man was playing with his glass and telling something excitedly to the spectacled, thin, slightly balding, odd-looking man next to him. The burly man spoke so fast that I had a hard time following what he was saying. But it was probably a matter of habit, the people around them were behaving as if it were perfectly normal. The thin, bespectacled and slightly bald one seems to be listening to the big man, while constantly saying, “We need a man to send on watch. I need a man to send me on watch. There is no man at the 17th gate of the Presidency. Özal can escape from there. If we don’t get it under control, I’m not responsible for what happens!” Like, he was saying weird things.
Meanwhile, the tall person, whose name I later learned was Fatih Çekirge, turned to the man whose name I later learned was Enis Berberoğlu, and said, “Here, send it,” and with this sentence my life darkened. For months, I have no more private life than standing guard in front of his door and taking pictures of what goes in and out.
When I look back, it has been 39 years since I entered the Hürriyet news Agency Eskişehir office. During these years, I worked in every field of journalism, from traineeship to newspaper manager, to newspaper boss. But I never gave up on being a reporter, I never killed the excitement of that intern reporter in me. That’s how I became a journalist.