Today’s society is characterized by a digital convergence culture emanating from the predominating presence of the Internet and social media. Political leaders and organizations take great advantage of the advancement in digital media technologies, utilizing new media to manage public relations, to improve their brand image, and to connect to voters. At the same time, in the absence of valid public spheres in the real world, citizens turn to the digital world to reach out to political leaders, to share their opinions with the rest of the world, and to participate in political debates. This thesis project aims to investigate the influence of web and digital media on political communications, scrutinizing the political communications scene in Turkey as a case study. Ultimately, it seeks to find an answer as to why social media networks such as YouTube can be banned in a country, such as Turkey, that has a large and vibrant community of Internet users.
The project first presents an overview of the interaction between digital media technologies and political communications in the world. Then, it introduces the theory of the public sphere and explains why media is no longer able to provide public spheres for debate, in addition to exploring the rise of the virtual public spheres. The third and biggest part of the study comprises the case study on Turkey, which portrays an overview encompassing the political communications scene and the media ownership structure in Turkey. It also addresses the decline of the public sphere and journalism in Turkey, as well as the birth of online public spheres. While digital media can solve the crisis of journalism under freedom of speech, it can create socio-political tension under authoritarian or highly strictly regulated regimes.
Keywords: digital media, Internet, political communications, public sphere, Turkey
|School:||The American University of Paris (France)|
|Source:||MAI 56/02M(E), Masters Abstracts International|
|Subjects:||Middle Eastern Studies, Multimedia Communications, Political science, Web Studies|
|Keywords:||Digital media, Internet, Political communications, Public sphere, Turkey|
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