The Transformation of Journalistic Practices

By: Baris Coban   Bora Ataman  

Since the beginning of 21st century, there has been a continuous transformation in the journalistic practices of ordinary people as well as in the news media industry. The majority of “citizen journalists” moved out from websites to blogs and from thereon, to social media platforms in parallel with the technological developments. Now, we see that mobile messaging apps come into prominence in the news industry. So, with 1 billion 300 million users, WhatsApp came under the radar of academic research. In this study, we focus on how these new developments and changes manifested themselves in Turkey. Almost every TV station, newspaper and news agencies in the country now offer ‘WhatsApp Report Lines’ to gather information from people. So, in order to understand the practices of both commercial and alternative media by examining these rival outlets’ experiments with WhatsApp comparatively, we will conduct semi-structured in-depth interviews with the responsible people of such report lines in the newsrooms, journalists processing the news gathered through this mobile messaging application and the editors, who give the final decisions on the content of the news to be disseminated. After all, a comparative and critical outlook on mainstream and alternative media practices in an undemocratic media climate under the pressure of an authoritarian regime may provide crucial insights on the near future of journalism.

Journalism, WhatsApp, News
Media Cultures
Paper Presentation in a Themed Session

Assoc. Prof. Baris Coban

Dean, Communication Sciences, Dogus University

Barış Çoban is an Associate Professor in the Communication Sciences Department, Doğuş University, Turkey. His research interests include social movements, alternative-radical media and political communication. The books he edited, co-edited and translated are: “Discourse and Ideology”, “History, Utopia and Rebellion: Sheikh Bedreddin”, “Panopticon: Power of Eye”, “Media, Nationalism, Violence”, “Globalisation, Opposition, Utopia: New Social Movements”, “Media, Peace and War”, “Reclaim Your Media: Alternative Media”, “Social Media R/evolution”. He has also published in journals in areas of media, sociology and politics. He has lectured on theories of alternative media, social media and political communication.

Bora Ataman

Vice Dean, Dogus University, Turkey