THE EARTH TIMES/Istanbul-Habitat II
JUNE 7, 1996
A new place, a new story
BY ASHALI VARMA
Executive Publisher, The Earth Times
Istanbul–It has been a long road from Rio de Janeiro to Istanbul for The Earth Times. It was in Rio, at the 1992 Earth Summit, where we published daily editions to monitor one of the most historic conferences of this century, one that formally brought together environment and development under the rubric of “sustainable development.” And here in Istanbul, we are producing daily editions for what has been characterized as the last great UN conference of this millennium, Habitat II.
Our partner in Istanbul is Hurriyet the largest daily newspaper in Turkey. It is owned by the Dogan Holding Group, and The Earth Times is proud to be associated with Chairman Aydin Dogan and Vice Yalcin Balci, who made our collaboration possible.
This collaboration is unique because it involves two separate media organizations. Our staff members are drawn from different countries and a multiplicity of ethnic and racial backgrounds. Between us, we speak a dozen languages. But in newspaper journalism, these differences constitute strength. It is a business where the only thing that counts is people’s ability to work together day after day, and put out the paper, night after night.
So here we are, working together day after day, and producing Earth Times/Hurriyet night after night. Notwithstanding all the tensions, pressures, and glitches, it is fun.
It is fun because journalism is all about people. And what an opportunity this has been in Istanbul for all of us: A fabulous city with a rich history and splendid character, generous hosts; welcoming friends; and a conference that will help shape policies for our common future.
It is also fun because, in the final analysis, daily journalism is truly an adventure. Here we are, visitors in an exotic land working with men and women who hadn’t heard of us much before we arrived. And yet, our collaboration results in a tangible product daily. A new product, a new set of stories, a new adventure every day. Romantic notion, you might ask? To be sure, but what a city in which to hold on to that notion—and what a conference in which to practice it.