Alternative media and alternative journalism: Theoretical approaches -AND- Alternative media: The life support of journalism in Turkey

Date created: 
Alternative media
Alternative journalism
Participatory media
Turkish media

Essay 1: “Alternative Media and Alternative Journalism: Theoretical Approaches” sets the theoretical framework of two interrelated essays that seek to understand the democratic significance of alternative journalism in Turkey. The essay first examines the process- and content-oriented approaches outlining how they define alternative media and conceptualize alternative media’s democratizing potentials. Next, the essay presents some of the characteristics of alternative journalism such as native reporting and inverting the hierarchy of access as well as discussions around journalistic objectivity and funding in relation to the process- and content-oriented approaches. The essay argues that while different theorizations enable us to understand the democratic significance of alternative media and alternative journalism, in practice, they should not be used as a definitive criterion due to the dynamic and context -bound nature of alternative media. Communities and social movements may prioritize or combine these approaches depending on their needs and goals. Essay 2: “Alternative Media: The Life Support of Journalism in Turkey” applies the theories explored in the first essay to the Turkish context, focusing particularly on the period under the rule of the Adalet ve Kalkinma Partisi (The Justice and Development Party- AKP) which came to power in 2003.The essay argues that in the absence of a functioning mainstream media in Turkey, alternative media and alternative journalism take on the watchdog and information roles which are attributed to mainstream media in liberal theories. Furthermore, they act as a rhizome for different dissident groups and change the epistemology of traditional journalism by broadening the definition of news, adopting news values that are more relevant for their audiences and changing the sourcing routines. Finally, they offer a suitable venue of collaboration between scholars and activists in order to develop a more dynamic and responsible form of journalism.

Document type: 
Graduating extended essay / Research project
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Senior supervisor: 
Robert Hackett
Communication, Art & Technology: School of Communication
Thesis type: 
(Extended Essays) M.A.