SOULS FALLING FROM THE EARTH

Fear and hate what make you survive in the midst of chaos?

Is that really where the language of logic is silent?

It’s not easy to fight against those fed with blood and cruelty

All the people you once trusted showed their true colors

Your faith eroded

What were left behind were just loneliness and disappointment

 

The winners come from the society you grew up in

The society goes after them as long as the power poisons

You have not hit the rock bottom yet

But the road leads you there

They chose the side of fire without hesitation

You are afraid of choosing water

 

Didn’t you understand it’s not just about your fight

Two-facedness, shamefulness, nastiness turned into honorable identities

Guest souls believe they are the homeowners

Sharing their gains with the devil they think they ascend to the heaven

Nightmarish images became palpable realities on every corner

Who is safe where the best part of life is death?

 

The truth needs to be separated from the lies

The love shown to them is fake but not the hate you are filled with

It’s said what doesn’t kill you makes you stronger

If you show courage the sun will rise above the darkness

Freedom, justice, dignity… light a torch to get back what belongs to you

Then watch the souls sold to the devil fall from the earth

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NATURE OF POLITICS AS A NATURAL DANGER FOR MEDIA

cats2It is the nature of politics that force politicians to establish ties with media and use it for their own benefits. Yet, nature of media is different. It has not to do with political interests. Media have to follow universal values, so it should be objective, independent, and free. These characteristics are crucial for the well-function of media. Therefore, media should be aware of the possible results of the intersection with politics.

Since it is nature of politics, politicians are tended using media to create an artificial perception in particular. On the other hand, media is one of the informal tool to check and balance the political system within a country. As a result, relations of media with politicians carry the possibility of moving media far away from its objectiveness. Namely, people may think whenever representatives of a certain political party are often seemed in a certain news channel or newspapers, it may be hard for that media institution to prove that it still care for its objectiveness and independence.

Media needs both a national and an international institution for the self-checking system for its own goodness. A national institution can warn media organizations which give up from the universal values. Also, a global institution can support any media company’s rights within a country. These institutions can provide a kind of protected field for the possible interference of politicians and operate a check and balance system within media itself.

To sum up, media and politics should hesitate to intersect with each other to the extend that media lose its objectiveness and independence. In such a case, owners of media corporations will be awaiting position for the gains that come from politicians‘ decisions. Since the nature of politics is not seen to be change in a short period of time in future, politicians will continue to lay a trap for media in order to achieve their political intentions. Media should be aware of these traps and follow only universal values to function without making any concessions from objectiveness, human rights, freedom, and self-independence.

GAME OF THRONE BETWEEN MEDIA AND GOVERNMENT

government_twitter1Using the tool of media to get public’s consent on their policy is more frequently benefited by governments regardless of their democracy culture. Since to be supported is crucial to penetrate public, governments are not satisfied with only official TV channels, radios and newspapers, which are owned by state. Therefore, private media organs are thought to be very influential to propagate attractive sides of political parties’ activities and policies. The ways of strategic communication through media ends with a successful results of public diplomacy. Social media is also another tool.

Representatives of government sometimes hide their real intentions when they make law, so they need to focus on advantageous parts of the law for the large group of society such as students, elderly and retired people. At this point, media turns into a tool to reach those people. However, when the light is turned on in a theatre scene, audience would be able to see the all on the scene. That is, some people can realize the de facto in the law. For example, the law may be harmful for the working group. When the government prevent people to become aware of defective parts of the law, it could get consent of people easily. Not only during the law making process, but also in its international activities. For instance, Turkish government opened the borders for Syrian refugees and explained that its decision was based on moral values rather than self interest. In news channels and newspapers, such explanations were common in the past period. However, there were less news that underline the problem that what would happened after taking hundred thousands of Syrians inside of the country. Later, it was understood that Turkey was not well-prepared for the results of the decision. If media would have informed people well about the possible consequences of such a decision, it would have been harder for the government to get consent of people.

Governments may follow different tactics to manipulate the truth by using media. For instance, after the corruption scandal in Turkey, some of the most watched TV series such as “Kurtlar Vadisi” changed the scenario to support prime minister. In addition, a spin doctor method can be used by government. Especially, when something undesired happen inside of the country, government may change the direction of people’s attention onto a different way by exaggerating an international event by using media.

To sum up, media should find a resolution to not be used as a tool by politicians even though its interests is challenged. My suggestion is that media should turn on the voice of opposition little bit more.

POWER OF MEDIA: TRANSFORMING PUBLIC OPINION

media-spoonfeeding-cartoon

As the forth power, media has some strengths that no other institutions can compete with. One of them is to form or transform public opinion. It is not only through news media, but also entertainment media which is more influential than news media for giving the true message to the right group. Also, up to the case, the resistance of media to maintain democracy in a given country may be controversial. In that situation people’s ideas about democracy may also be transformed by media.

First of all, it is true that news media such as news channels (CNN, Al Jazeera),  newspapers, magazines, and news agents can be influential to a certain extent in transforming public opinion. However, the message that is wanted to be given is direct, and the resources using by news media and also its broadcast policy are be already known by public. Therefore, in this case, you have the chance to not accept the message given and you may be disagree with what the news says. For instance, it can be predicted that news media owned by state broadcasts on behalf of government. On the other hand, using entertainment media to form or transform public opinion may be more influential. TV series, programs, and even cartoons may include subliminal messages by addressing the subconscious of human beings. During the Cold War, most of Americans had an image of Russia as the one represented in Hollywood. The same kind of representation of the image is valid for Iran today. Moreover, many of us have an image of African as poor, hungry, thin, and begging for our help. This imagination was constructed by entertainment media, and our senses and mind are not able to block or prevent that message given in such a way.

Secondly, it is thought that media, especially news media, has the responsibility or intention to support and protect democracy which naturally gives media the best environment to function. However, when pressure from government reaches the level that media cannot resist, media may changed its broadcast policy to prevent its interests and to survive. To not be opposite of government policies, it may concede from its previous standing point which was on behalf of democracy. As a result of this situation, people who don’t see the pressure made by government on media which result in changing its broadcast policy may not be aware of the change and can easily believe what they watch and listen in those media organs. Thus, their ideas and thoughts may be transformed in such a way.

To sum up, entertainment media has a superior role to form and transform public opinion on news media. Entertainment media is more successful to create imagination which takes place in the subconscious of human beings. In addition, media transformed itself because of government pressure, and the results of this situation may have a reflection in people’s mind that leads them into error.

PATRIARCHAL MEDIA AND WOMAN

06hyrrr13-Women_Jou_175965eIt is a hotly debated topic whether there is a bias against women in business life, or not. We can make the topic narrower and ask how about women’s role in media. Is there any discrimination against them, are they used as a commercial tool, and what can be done against such a bias or discrimination. More questions can be put forward, but, in general, whether media has a patriarchal structure, and where women are situated are the topics needed to be discussed deeply.

Let’s first divide the topic as women behind the screen and in front of the screen.  Problems arisen among women behind the screen is less because there are mostly men who are assumed to do hard work such as carrying cameras, and other required tools rather than women. Women are required to only deal with make-up, consultancy, etc. On the other hand, it is common to encounter with a woman when she present the news in the TV channels, in which is positive. It pumps negativity when a woman is raped or exposed to violence by a man in TV series, or when a woman is shown as a sex object in the advertisements. It is unfortunately true that using woman icon in such cases are beneficial in terms of commercial interests. There is also the danger that women may internalize their social positions as shown in TV series‘ and advertisements after a while. UntitlOverall, 63.4 percent of those with bylines and on-camera appearances were men, while women constituted 36.1 percent of contributors. (In the US, http://wmc.3cdn.net/2e85f9517dc2bf164e_htm62xgan.pdf)

UntitledThe Center found that women accounted for 16 percent of all directors, executive pro- ducers, producers, writers, cinematographers and editors for the top 250 domestically made films in 2013. (In the US, http://wmc.3cdn.net/2e85f9517dc2bf164e_htm62xgan.pdf)

Even though there are worried issues, it is possible to face with a woman who is strong at work in media. However, the number of such women is so rare, and it is not a good idea to show these strong women in the good positions at media as an example to follow for the rest. Even, it is an absurd advice for women while there are structural defects which are at the core of the problem of high illiterate rate and unemployment rate among women.

A suggestion for a starting point I can provide is that women shouldn’t watch TV series including biased features and can make boycotts for the products whose advertisements shows women as a sexual object or draw a certain social role for women. Most probably, after doing so, there will be good results because it is supposed that such TV series are mostly watched by women, and shopping is also handled mostly by women. However, to be more influential in such a company, a well established and organized unions are required. As a result, such unions can be responsible to inform and even educate those who have less consciousness about the topic.

DOMINANCE OF SOCIAL MEDIA IN POLITICS

mainstream_mediaIn 1993, William Gamson and Gadi Wolfsfeld suggested that social movements rely on media for three main reasons: mobilization, legitimization, and to broadcast the issue in a wider scope. However, they explained this in terms of mainstream media, and at that time there was no social media. The time passed have shown enough evidence to rise a doubt in people’s mind which caused people to not rely on mainstream media as before. That is, one of the most important reason behind success of social media is actually the failure of mainstream media that lost its persuasiveness among members of society. Therefore, one may ask whether mainstream media is really free, or not.

In 1990s, there was huge protests against Hugo Chavez which ended with military coup even though there was obvious public support for Chavez. Later, a link of capital flow from the U.S. to Venezuela revealed. Neutrality of mainstream media was in doubt at that time. In addition, colorful revolutions in Eastern Europe in 2000s brought a doubt whether a different version of containment policy was put in practice by the U.S. because whenever an Eastern European country attempted to establish good relations with Russia, they experienced mass protests that were mainly on behalf of democracy. Media pretended to act guardian angel of democracy, and fueled the unrests. Moreover, during the Arab Spring the position of mainstream media was among the most discussed topics. These events keep our doubts alive for the real function of mainstream media.

On the other hand, that mainstream media broadcast to reflect the political view of its owners became a general thought that many people believe in. Also, the idea that media owners care about their interests rather than democracy and other western values is commonly accepted. As a result, mainstream media is no longer attractive for many who try to find the resources of impartial and objective news.

To sum up, the reason why mainstream media fell behind social media was the doubtful position of mainstream media in the events of the last thirty years, and foreknown approaches of mainstream media to the events which reflected their owners‘ ideology and interests. Therefore, social media became a substantial alternative and many people believe in that social media is their own media and even, in same case, more reliable than mainstream media. That is, the failure of mainstream media became the success of social media.

SOCIAL MEDIA OR POLITICAL MEDIA

no-twitter-for-you-judge-decides-for-female-stalkerHow social media affects politics has been demonstrated many times during the Arab Spring, the economic crisis in 2008, and the recent social protests in Turkey, Ukraine, and Venezuela. Therefore, it can be said that social media is highly political. However, it should be also thought about consequences of the transformation in politics that was led by social media.

The most important contribution of social media to politics is that it has increased the level of democracy particularly in developing countries. Social media provides a free area for citizens to discuss government’s policies. As a result, this situation creates awareness among citizens because people start to think much about national problems. They are able to gathered easily to protest and complain government’s activities and some traumatic events in society. Citizens have become more active and sensitive after they believed that they would easily get support for their ideas and thoughts from other people thanks to social media.

On the other hand, activation of citizens and raising awareness in society led politicians to be interested in social media, too. Policy makers now have a different type of tie with citizens which is provided by social media. In some cases, citizens play an important role in agenda setting by putting pressure on politicians from Facebook, Twitter, and Youtube. From view of government, social media is a magnificent tool for public diplomacy. Opposition parties also focus on social media to reflect public’s raising complaints about some certain events. Therefore, even one can claim that social media made the scale of democracy closer to direct democracy.

It is also claimed that social media has a bad characteristic that it publishes the secret information of state illegally. However, as a citizen, I am already against such secret information which is used by government to rule and control us. If there is no violence and something that cause the revealing of ordinary people’s private lives, publishing state’s secret information through social media has a positive affect on democracy and strengthen transparency. In an ideal democracy, there is no place for state’s secret information and activities.

To sum up, social media has a positive affect on politics on behalf of citizens. In terms of raising awareness in society, making citizens more active, force politics to be more transparent, and providing a kind of checking system for state’s institutions social media is an attractive source,  great opportunity, and lets us to become more hopeful for our democracy’s future.