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Enrique Peña Nieto fue el campeón de los bots (robots para crear mensajes) y derrochó recursos sin lograr revertir oleadas de opiniones en su contra; Andrés Manuel López Obrador con su página amlo.si acrecentó una comunidad fiel, pero le faltó tiempo para extenderla, y Josefina Vázquez Mota arrancó bien para después enredarse en los yerros de su campaña. Los investigadores Guillermo Pérezbolde, Eva Sander y Claudia Benassini ubican las fallas en que los candidatos dialogaron poco o nada con la población y reprodujeron las trampas de tierra comprando bots o escenificando artificiosas guerras tuiteras.

We started covering the news in earnest in January of 2012. We skipped our college classes to attend trials and protests, and we shared via social media photographs, audio and video recordings, and reports of what we witnessed. We covered leftist factions supporting arrested journalists, radical Islamic groups protesting abortion, and a trial involving game-fixing by one of the nation’s favorite football clubs. We were so new to all this that when a Turkish media critic told us we were engaged in “citizen journalism,” we had to look up the term on Wikipedia. Months later, Zeynep Tufekci, a Turkish-born professor at the University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill who studies the intersection of technology and society, told me, “This is not ‘citizen journalism.’ This is ‘journalistic citizenship.’” Journalistic citizenship is an important model, not just for my country but for other countries where people aren’t getting the news they need.

One primary distributor means extraordinary control. It means you don’t have the option of going to another distributor. There is no other way to reach the market. […]

With its incestuous web of shared investors and board members (key Facebook investors are investors in Twitter; Amazon’s Jeff Bezos is, personally, a long-time Twitter investor), the technology industry itself is unlikely to offer a competitor to Twitter and an alternative for the news industry. Google Reader, a Twitter alternative, is shutting down on 1 July.

By now, you’ll have heard – perhaps via international media, or on Twitter or Facebook – about the protests that started in defence of one of Istanbul’s last remaining green spaces, and have now, in response to heavy-handed policing and broader worries about democratic rights, spread across many cities in Turkey

I’ve been following the torrent of communication and coverage on Twitter mainly via a mixture of local and international academics, NGO people and journalists – ranging from Asli Tunç, Yaman Akdeniz, Zeynep Tufekci (who has also blogged a rapid, excellent analysis), and Burcu Baykurt [UPDATE: Burcu has written a very comprehensive post detailing the main media reform issues emerging from the Gezi Park protest movement] to Aaron SteinBenjamin Harvey, Hugh Pope and Amberin Zaman – as well as feeds like 140 Journos. (Feel free to tweet me or @mediapolicy with further suggestions.)

One of the most widely discussed (on Twitter) aspects of these protests has been the mainstream Turkish media’s perceived failure to cover the protests fairly, adequately, or in some cases at all, leading Bloomberg’s Benjamin Harvey to tweet the following:

Turks being confronted with the now-undeniable deficiencies of their media may be one of the most important aspects of these protests.

In report after report after report [UPDATE: 3 June 2013 – see comment below for further resources], those deficiencies – and the reasons for them – have been thoroughly, exhaustively anatomised. Asli Tunç and Vehbi Görgülü’s Mapping Digital Media Turkey report (2012), for example, gives a very comprehensive overview of the Turkish media sector and its travails, and is part of a 50-country series that mediapolicy.org readers know well. The Carnegie report (also supported by OSF) by Marc Pierini and Markus Mayr on Press Freedom in Turkey, takes a different approach. Introducing the report in January 2013, Pierini wrote:

I didn’t conduct yet another inquiry into press freedom. More modestly, I analyzed all the reports published on the subject by governmental and non-governmental, Turkish and foreign entities during the last two years. Although they had different focuses and methodologies, all these reports convey one single image: Turkey’s record is bad because it fares well below the country’s democratic credentials and is hurting the nation economically and diplomatically on the international scene.

One has to hope that the Gezi Park crisis will lead in some way to genuine reforms in Turkey’s media policy and media sector, freeing journalism to play a stronger role in the country’s democracy. As Turkey is one of mediapolicy.org‘s focus countries, we’ll definitely follow developments and build up useful resources over the coming weeks and months. We’d love to hear from academics, researchers, civil society and journalists interested in sharing perspectives on media policy and reform in Turkey – please get in touch on email or Twitter