Ötekilerin Postası (Post of the Others)

Barber puts forward a set of concepts which describe the various functions of democratic “talk” and which provide a theoretical framework for understanding some of the ways in which access television functions as a political communication resource.(Stein, 1998)With the help of these functions, we will examine a case of “Ötekilerin Postası”(Post of the Others) effectively and focus on democratic functions of alternative media.

-Agenda Setting; “Ötekilerin Postası”(Post of the Others) is following an approach that encourage citizen participation in agenda-setting.”Ötekilerin Postası”(Post of the Others)  startted as an alternative media during the hunger strikes in prisons in Turkey. Since the beginning of strikes the mainstream media did not function effectively and inform the public even there were hundreds of strikers. The founders of “Ötekilerin Postası”(Post of the Others)  explain the beginning of the process  by outlining the question; “Why do we need the mainstream media?”

-Exploring Mutuality and Affiliation and Affection; “Ötekilerin Postası”(Post of the Others) helps people to involve in political communcation and express their feeling, in their words about the issues concerns them.They do not consider themselves as news portal but also social responsible platform that involves in social projects. “Ötekilerin Postası”(Post of the Others) aims to be the voice of “the Others”, which became others by the system, and by doing that creating awareness in the society.

-Maintaining Autonomy; By letting people to re-evaluate their opinions and values “Ötekilerin Postası”(Post of the Others)  guides individuals to reproduce a certain autonomy. Volunteer citizen journalists share videos and pictures that they shoot and expose their  ideas about current issues.

-Witness and Self-expression; “Ötekilerin Postası”(Post of the Others)  allows diverse groups to represent themselves on their own.Ötekilerin Postası charactarizes itself as a fisherman in Trabzon,a transgender in İzmir, Kürt in Haymana, Armenian in İstanbul,  Miner in Zonguldak, Alevi in Dersim, Suryani in Mardin, a teacher who waits for assignment in Bilecik, thousands of disabled people ve thousands of students who demostrates in streets.

-Reformulation and Reconceptualisation;Reformulation and Reconceptualisation of political and social terms and values is part of participatory democratic functions. “Ötekilerin Postası”(Post of the Others) focuses on especially fascist and racist discourses. It’s major topics are; gender, human rights, youth,labour,conscientious objection and etc.

-Community-building; “Ötekilerin Postası”(Post of the Others)  promote active citizenship by encouraging individuals to be volunteer journalists.It startted as “Hunder Strike Post” in the 40th day of the strike by volunteer 2 activists independently from the main-stream media. By sharing the strike process with the audience transparently, “Ötekilerin Postası”(Post of the Others) increased the number of its followers day by day. ( https://www.facebook.com/OtekilerinPostasi ) It’s motto is ; we make a hole on censorship with citizen journalism.

As we outlined the framework of the “Ötekilerin Postası”(Post of the Others), it is important to ask what made them ask the question of “Why following just main-stream media?”.

 

 

References;

Stein, L. (1998) “Democratic “Talk, Access Television and Participatory Political Communication” , in Swiss Journal of Sociology, vol. 5,pp.21-34

http://otekilerinpostasi.org/