Obama’s Presidental Ad Campaign

The first time in history were a wittness of a USA presedantial campaign. Obama spaned all over the world through the medium of internet. The people who lives in many countries sustain him. One of the most important reason of this interest is his mixed blood.

Internet was used by Barack Obama during the whole presidental campaign effectivelly. He also used forums, MySpace and Facebook.

For detailed information:http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Barack_Obama_presidential_campaign,_2008

Annie Hall and McLuhan

Although there are many people who criticize McLuhan, he is an important theorist for communication studies. Also, he had complained that many people misunderstood him. There is a part about misunderstanding McLuhan in Woody Allen’s Annie Hall. In addition, it is a funny critisisim about academics 

Alvy Singer: [the man behind him in line is talking loudly] What I wouldn’t give for a large sock with horse manure in it!
Alvy Singer: [to audience] Whaddya do when you get stuck in a movie line with a guy like this behind you?
Man in Theatre Line: Wait a minute, why can’t I give my opinion? It’s a free country!
Alvy Singer: He can give it… do you have to give it so loud? I mean, aren’t you ashamed to pontificate like that? And the funny part of it is, Marshall McLuhan, you don’t know anything about Marshall McLuhan!
Man in Theatre Line: Oh, really? Well, it just so happens I teach a class at Columbia called “TV, Media and Culture.” So I think my insights into Mr. McLuhan, well, have a great deal of validity!
Alvy Singer: Oh, do ya? Well, that’s funny, because I happen to have Mr. McLuhan right here, so, so, yeah, just let me…
[pulls McLuhan out from behind a nearby poster]
Alvy Singer: come over here for a second… tell him!
Marshall McLuhan: I heard what you were saying! You know nothing of my work! You mean my whole fallacy is wrong. How you got to teach a course in anything is totally amazing!
Alvy Singer: Boy, if life were only like this!


“The person who exited from cinema”

I would like to present a part from Yusuf Atılgan’s Aylak Adam. Yusuf Atılgan (1921-1989) is an esteemed author from Turkey. Aylak Adam (Idle Man – 1959) is the one of his novels. The story of a lonely man, C., was narrated in the nnovel. C. resembles Kafka’s and Dostoyevski’s characters. While C. is looking for love, we have a journey inside his mind.
Atılgan narrates the person who exited from cinema in a part of the book. He is depressed and he goes to cinema. When he exits from cinema, he is like another man. He is totally changed. He says “a creature that has a short existence lives at our epoch. The people from last centuries do not know it. The person who exits from cinema… the film that was watched affected him/her. It does not think about only itself. It does not think about its own benefits anymore… It lives in a harmony with people… we hope that it brings off a difficult task… but it dies in a few minutes.”
The creature dies in a few minutes because it meets with ordinary life and people outside. Atılgan thinks that if we build huge cinema theaters and they watch the same film at the same time, when they go ouside, they can change the world.
In my opinion, it is the best way to explain media effects on society. The propaganda films should be directed with the same base.
Mr. Atılgan, I am really sorry for the translation… RIP…

“İki saat sonra kalabalığın içinde , sinemadan bir dar sokağa çıkan sanki başka birisiydi.. düşünüyordu : ‘çağımızda geçmiş yüzyılların bilmediği , kısa ömürlü bir yaratık yaşıyor.. sinemadan çıkmış insan.. gördüğü film ona bir şeyler yapmış.. salt çıkarını düşünen kişi değil.. insanlarla barışık.. onun büyük işler yapacağı umulur.. ama beş-on dakikada ölüyor.. sokak sinemadan çıkmayanlarla dolu ; asık yüzleri , kayıtsızlıkları , sinsi yürüyüşleriyle onu aralarına alıyorlar , eritiyorlar..’ saatine baktı : dört buçuğa beş vardı.. ‘eve gitsem okusam..’ durağa yürüdü.. ‘bunları kurtarmanın yolunu biliyorum.. kocaman sinemalar yapmalı.. bir gün dünyada yaşayanların tümünü sokmalı bunlara.. iyi bir film görsünler.. sokağa hep birden çıksınlar..’ kafasından geçene güldü.. duraktakiler dönüp baktılar.. kadının biri kaşlarını çattı.. sokakta kendi kendine sesli gülünemeyeceğini bilmeyen yoktu.. ‘ne adamlar be.. güldüysem güldüm , size ne..’ duramadı orada , yürüdü.. eve gitmeyecek.. içindeki ‘sinemadan çıkmış kişi’yi öldürdüler.. sağ kalan sıkıntılı , kızgın.. hep ölçülü-biçimli mi davranmak gerek.. kim demiş.. başkaları onu eve gidecek sanırken o gidip bir meyhanede içecek.. yolun çivisiz yerinden karşıya geçti.. kayıp giden otomobiller duraksadılar.. bir şoför sövdü.. o duymadı..’”

Atılgan, Y. (1959), Aylak Adam. İstanbul: Yapı Kredi Yayınları

The beginnings of Commucication Studies

Lazarsfeld, Lewin, Hovland and Lasswell are important theorists in history of communication studies. When we look into their lives, we will notice a common point. These theorists research the situations of World War 2.

In this point, i should do the definition of social psychology; the individual is never thought seperate from society, group or social context. Social psychology research how the human behaviour is shaped by society and social context. Lazarsfeld, Lewin, Hovland and Lasswell was effected by historical context which they are witness of.

Why did these theorist study about communication? Millions of people make war to kill each other why they don’t know. This period ensue the enlightenment age that scientist, philosophers, artists defend the rationalist thoughts. They believe that everything goes to better changes for the better. On the other hand, the enlightenmet idea  was collapsed with World War 2.

How was the only one man (Adolf Hitler) caused to genocide of millions of Jewish people? What kind of propaganda method was used by him? How is the human behaviour affected by autority?  What does the people attribute the responsibilities of their crimes? How is the persuasion mechanism working? How can the mass communication use in war process?

The humanity has a heavy loss during the World War 2, however this period was efficient for social sciences.


About them:

  • Lazarsfeld: American sociologist. He was born in a Jewish family. He established mathematical sociology. He made an important contribution to research methods of social sciences.
  • Kurt Lewin: He came from a Jewish Family in Poland. They migrated to Germany , after then USA. He studied about organizational behavior, group dynamics and experimental social psychology.
  • Carl Hovland: American psychologist. He had been in army during World War 2. His research interest were attitude changes and persuasion. He also studied about how mass communication can use more efficiently in war process.
  • Harold Lasswell: American political scientist, also communication theorist. He comes from Chicago School. He was inspired by Dewey and Mead. He was a real social scientist. He studied about sociology, psychology, philosophy, political sciences and communication. He had some researchs about propaganda films.

New Media and Democracy

One of the main characteristics of new media, the flows of information can be possible between user groups or individual users (Törenli, 2005: 159). It is mentioned that when participant emphasis of democracy is realized, internet is a really important tool to improve democracy. So is it really true?

According to information society thesis, while information is spaning, the power will be shared and governments will be more participant, apparent and transparent with the coercion of technology (Neuman, 1991: 32-33). On the other hand, there are some critical thoughts aganist the information society thesis. For Ellul, posibilities of civilan resistance has no chance in view of “system of technicians” which is independent and reproduce itself again and again. Actually, new technologies do not present a different thing from standadized products of culture industry. Accordiing to Schiller, there is not a thing like information society, it is just a conceptualization to reinforce market economy. Tourinne also emphasize that it is a social phase after the industirialization (Törenli, 2005: 225). For Hacker, the discourse of information society and communication technlogies turn democracy into a technical problem (Hacker, 1996: 214).

According to John Street, electronical democracy presents the model of Ancient Greek’s direct democracy (Street, 1997: 31-33). In contrary, the concept of electronical democracy is criticized. Technology can not resolve the problems of democracy. Although one of the requirements of democracy is information freedom, there is no concrete data to prove that majority of information reinforcesthe democracy. Besides, the differnce between information and knowledge is important. Information is a fact that its accuracy is polemical. The other critical thought is “to be electronical” makes nonsense of democracy. It refers to democracy is just perceived as voter behaviour (Timisi, 2003: 210-212).

Most of people believe that information is an easiliy accesiable source anymore, however it is like a fairy tale in this unequal conditions. They desregard economical and technical differences (Törenli, 2005: 220). The possiblities of new media about collecting, processing, circulating and storage of information are instrumental in activity of elites in lieu of ordinary people, so the liberalizing and participatory effect of new media is not realistic (Törenli, 2005: 219).


  • Street, John (1997). “Remote Control? Politics, Technology and ‘Electronic Democracy’”. European Journal of Communication. 12(1): 27-42.
  • Theaker A (2006), Halkla İlişkilerin El Kitabı, Murat Yaz, Çev, İstanbul: MediaCat Kitapları.
  • Timisi, N. (2003), Yeni İletişim Teknolojileri ve Demokrasi, Ankara: Dost Kitabevi Yayınları.
  • Törenli, N. (2007), Bilişim Teknolojileri Temelinde Haber Medyasının Yeniden Biçimlenişi: Yeni Medya, Yeni İletişim Ortamı, Ankara: Bilim ve Sanat Yayıları.
  • Van Dijk, J. (2004). ‘Digital Media’ The Sage Handbook of Media Studies, John D.H. Downing, Denis Mcquail, Philip Schlensinger, Ellen Wartella (ed.) . London: Sage 145-163.
  • Neuman, W. (1991) , The Future of the Mass Audience. Cambridge University Press.
  • Hacker, Kenneth L. (1996), “Missing Links in the Evolution of the Electonic Democratization”, Media, Culture and Society, 18: 213-232.

Media Effect on Body Image

Media effect was our last week’s topic and we discussed how it effects, also what it effects.
Now, i want to mention about media effect on body image, i think that it is one of the most important effects of media on individuals and also on society.

We meet how we should look like every moment of our lives on newspapers, magazines, internet, TVs… Moreover, advertisements are everywhere, streets, buses, taxis, cafes, restaurants, toilets.. all of these present us perfect body images. Especially most of them are about women, however in recent years, media create handsome, strong men images. But in this article i want to state that body images of women in media, because it continues for a long time so we know lots of things effects of this images.

When we look at women images, we will see they are thin, beatiful, sexy, fashionable. They are really different than avarage women. You can see some statistics about this topic on video. The women who see perfect women images every moment are not pleased their appearance. İn conclusion, women want to look like thinner and it was the basic problem that causes eating disorders, like anorexia. Their perception of body is distructed and they always perceive their body is fat. Also, they are losing their self-esteems, because they believe that they always look like more beatiful, more sexy, more fashinable, more and more.

If you google, you will see many campaigns and projects to create healty women images in media.


“Does the tree that falls in the wood make a noise if there’s nobody to hear it?”

The question is crucial for epistemology. It explores knowledge of reality. There are many thoughts about this question in philosophy. But, i want to discuss it in communication overview. When i say a word, if nobody didn’t hear it, could it be communication?

According to the information theory, and cybernetics as well, we need a transmitter and a reciever tı commuticate. The flow of information between transmitter and receiver is described as communication. When the interpersonel communication was thought, the transmitter and the receiver are two people, also in intercultural communication, we state that two or more different cultures, or the people that belogs to these cultures. If we look into mass communication, we can see that the mass communication organs are being prepared intended for audiences. In that case, when i wrote a paper, if anybody didn’t read it, is it communication? I think that it is not. It can be a topic for epistemology or may be psychology but it is not in communication’s borders..