Promoting Excellence in the Discourse on Europe. Since 1995, the Erasmus EuroMedia Awards are granted to outstanding media productions contributing to the development of a European society and value system. [learn more]

Special Award on Ethical Discourse

Altjid Wat – Child labour in Turkish cotton industry

Daan Jansen/Mehmet Ülger, NCRV (Documentary)

The international jury has assessed this product to be the best in terms of educational media on ethics adressing European values.

Laudation for Altjid Wat: Child Labour in Turkish Cottoin Industry, Special Award for Ethical Discourse
Univ. Prof. Dr. Joan Hemels, Amsterdam

‘Altijd wat’ is a well known television program of the Dutch christian broadcasting organisation NCRV. The name ‘Altijd wat’ could be freely translated as ‘There is always happening something in the world, always something to do, and therefore, there is always a challenge for journalists to report, to comment and to criticize, when they are taking their job seriously. As a broadcasting organization, NCRV has been founded 1925. She is part of the non-commercial, public broadcasting system in The Netherlands and has build up a reputation in the field of television programs with a message.

The rather small editorial staff of ‘Altijd wat’, existing of twenty four women and men, is producing every week a program with a mixture of news analysis, background information, mostly based on a well-balanced combination of desk research and reporters’ investigative journalism.

Part of the editorial policy is not only to throw a stone in the lake of the public debate, but also to take care for the follow-up of a question that has been handled in a former edition of ‘Altijd wat’.

The magazine is focusing on issues with an outspoken wake-up call for television viewers who are aware of their responsibility in a civil society – also on an international level. The mission statement of ‘Altijd wat’ is stressing that reporters should try to make their programs from the point of view of the public. By means of internetblogs and social media, the editors are trying to be open to the public and to be aware of the ideas of the viewers. These are also stimulated to initiate their own research.

As a matter of fact, ‘Altijd wat’ also can be appraciated as a program with an educational value and a tendency of furthering media competence.

‘Child labour in Turkish cotton industry’ is a confrontational report,
taking a close look into lives of three young children and their families who are picking cotton in the burning sun of fields in the region of Adana and youngsters who have been working for several years in sewing shops in Istanbul.
It’s a story about modern slavery within a candidate country for the European Union membership on the one hand, and bad consumer behaviour in European Union countries on the other hand.
Textile is Turkey’s main export product and the big international brands are producing clothes in Turkey. And we, in our role of consumers, we are buying these clothes without knowing if it’s child labour free. Or don’t we like to be aware of these circumstances and are we looking for less expensive endproducts of the cotton chain?
‘Child labour in Turkish cotton industry’ is not a far from my bed show. The program offers the viewers a far from easy confrontation with a problem that concerns not only the Turkish government, but all of us. The jury of the ErasmusEuroMedia Awards is convinced of the quality of ‘Child Labour in Turkish cotton industry’, as an example of excellent investigative journalism andas a program produced with respect for ethical standards of responsible television journalism.
The jury wishes to congratulate the editorial staff of ‘Altijd wat’ and especially the team that produced the awarded program.

As a Dutchman, I’m proud of the achievement of NCRV’s women and men.

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