As the unrest unfolded on Friday and Saturday, Turkish media did not cover the violent police clashes, instead broadcasting nature and history documentaries, and cooking shows.
Other networks briefly mentioned the protests, but failed to cover the violent clashes in which scores were injured, according to Russia Today.
Angered and outraged locals turned to the Internet to share information and vent frustration – Twitter and Facebook were one of the few ways to read news on the latest developments. In response, Turkish Prime Minister Tayyip Erdogan condemned social media’s role in the riots, singling out what he called the “scourge” of Twitter.
“There is now a menace which is called Twitter, " Erdogan said on Sunday, dismissing the protests as organized by extreme elements. " The best examples of lies can be found there. To me, social media is the worst menace to society. "
It was through Twitter that activists spread the word to gather in support of the demonstrations, until the issue could no longer be ignored. Local channels then had to play catch - up, trying to make up for lost airtime.
Many in Turkey believe strongly that there is a responsibility that comes with being a news provider, and that Turkish media have failed in that responsibility.
Demonstrators lashed out against local media, gathering outside the offices of private TV stations NTV and HaberTurk on Sunday and Monday. In Istanbul’s Taksim district, protesters smashed an NTV satellite van, destroyed its equipment and covered it with graffiti.
On Tuesday, Turkey arrested and charged 24 bloggers for using social media to “instigate public hatred and animosity, ” and issued 14 other warrants, Turkish media reported.