Social movements, media and the public sphere

Social Media & Social Movement

New media Networks as a means of social sharing Networks’ use are increasing every day and the real life has been transformed to the virtual environment. In this new media period the circulation and sharing of information can be provided easier when it is compared to the past and the users can actively share whatever they have. The users as subject can either be the source of the news or the reviewer of that news. This environment not only provides people’s attendance in the aim of such issues like daily news, information or communication but also it provides them to be an active participant in the issues like politics, ideology, economics and culture. The new media networks have a sensational and rapid structure. This new network and reporting have a very dynamic structure that can break down all the rules that have been determined by the order. Social media is such a field that the only editor is yourself while you are publishing the news and there isn’t any self-censorship. Social media is a revolutionary phenomenon revolts against the dominant media and traditional order of the media.

Social media has an active role in most of the social events and hosts a great variety of activities. The new emerging media derivations have an important place in the dissemination of information. Social media tool has brought together both the people and the communities that are organized for the same purpose. It creates an environment that links social movements and accelerate the actions. It has created a media channel in which activists publish their news, actions and their own productions. Social media is highly important and effective for social movements in every country.

Social movements including different forms of regulations, strive for accelerating, preventing or reversing social changes with different strategies of behavior and mobilization. Social movement is a concept which expresses the activities of individuals who are more or less organized and who want convey their aims to the public agenda. The reason for social media emergence is; the participants’ deprivation of the tools that participate in the decision making processes of a party or a political organization as the collective actors.  Social movements may occur because of putting pressure on the managers and the lack of a democratic culture system. Generally the actors of social movements are the people who are non-formal and not organized. Social movements depend on social media which sustains and extends the networks. The Arab spring has also demonstrated that online social networks and social media have become a highly important efficient platform for social movements.

Video: Arab Spring and Social Media


1-      Babacan, M. E. & Haşlak, İ. & Hira, İ. Sosyal Medya ve Arap Baharı. Retrieved from:

2-      Toplumsal Hareket. Vikipedi. Retrieved from:

3-      Kılıç, S. (2009). Kamuoyu Oluşum Sürecinde Sosyal Hareketler ve Medya. Niğde Üniversitesi İİBF Dergisi; 2:2, s: 150-167. Retrieved from:

Street Art: Alternative form of media

Street art is an alternative media that uses many different performances to spread an idea of an individual or a group of people. An example is Kenya’s people who use street performance to talk about the severity of their impoverishment. Another example is people from all over the world who make graffiti in order to show everyone else who they are. There is no one set truth for street art, it comes from people for all different situations, but all want their ideas heard by others who might understand. Another example of street art can be the street performances in Jemaa el Fnaa- main square in Marrakech- called Halqa/Storytelling, a traditional way of entertaining the masses, telling historical stories, as well as criticizing the system through jokes and stories. Many of the entertainers make a living out of it. The Halqa has emerged in the 1960s and 1970s in different parts of Morocco, mainly in Beni Mellal and Marrakech, which is still a famous destination for locals and foreigners.
This street performance is a form of art that grants the storytellers freedom of expression: it is a getaway from the mainstream. The Halqa gathers people around the storyteller/hlayqi, forming a circle. The stories told are usually about social problems or about some great figures in history and religion. The stories can be sang, told as jokes, or simply told as tales. Halqa resembles theater in its structure, knowing that both are spectacles offered to the public. During the holy month, Ramadan, people meet in the square, listen to stories meanwhile the Imam calls for prayer to break their fast. The crowd heads home, then comes back to finish the story.

Brands also are using Alternative Media

When we talk about street marketing, we are talking about this marketing that is trying to copy the techniques of graffit, or any street art that we can imagine.
It happens because their target group probably are this kind of people that are following this Alternative Media, because of this, the normal media are not a correct channel to launch their publicity.
Banksy is one of the most famous graffiti drawers of the world, and always we can listen that he has a lot of offers to work with some famous brands, but of course he has declined all this offers, since in his opinion the alternative media is a way of expression of ideas, not a medium to sell nothing.
Also as we can imagine, advertising is always trying to find the most alternative way to reach us, and then they really can make  a surprise.
In my opinion, the street Marketing is a copy or an alliance  with the street art, with the objective to reach the people in a different way, and reach this people that are not following the mass media, using this technique is a way to try to find differentiation, and we can see clearly how this alternative media is so effective that the highest brands in the world are trying to imitate it.



Online/Internet Revolutions

The reason that makes internet technology different from other technologies and the factors that enable the internet technology has developed that rapidly, are the internet users who are very open to develop this technology and who are always in an interaction with the technology. This difference cause Internet to develop and change itself rapidly and quietly invade our lives.  The internet has been developing and spreading so fast that nobody can catch up its speed. The speed of the enlargement of the internet has been very surprising both in the world and in our country. Even the wireless connection has begun to spread when the wired connections have not been exactly settled yet. Moreover, it was not too expensive like the other new technologies. It has become cheap very quickly unlike the other new technologies which were highly expensive when they were first produced. Internet has already become the biggest revolution in the world made by human beings. Internet has replaced its indispensable place in our lives. Furthermore, it has begun to cause some generation conflicts and differences of opinion among people. While some of us have started to use it very efficiently, some of us have not been even aware of that. Grandparents and grandkids, even parents and kids can be given as an example for this generation conflict. Internet has become a virtual copy of our lives. New concepts have come into our lives like; internet shopping, internet dating, chatting on the internet, internet business and making money from internet. We have begun to discuss the problems which Internet causes, without thinking how this revolution has become reality. The children who are interested in computers and internet all day and children who have begun to become asocial day by day are the main concerns of the agenda.

Internet has been a revolutionary tool for the political and social issues as well. The first example can be the political campaign that was carried out over the internet was very effective in the election of the first black prime minister in USA. Another example is the social movement called Arab Spring. We started to feel the impact of the internet with the events that were emerged after Ahmedinehjad’s victory in the elections. Arab spring in which internet was used very effectively and the organization of masses was done over internet we have obviously seen the power of the internet and the revolutions that are done over the internet. Internet has become a place, in which the social movements are discussed and organized and virtual wars break out. The best part of it of course, we are able to do all these things in the comfort of our homes.

The Beginning

The alternative media has been increasing since the development of new technologies, especially the Internet, but this communication has been always in the history since the beginning of civilizations where we could find dominant systems. The alternative community is originated in the minds of individuals inspired by reality, propose an outsider perspectives of power, which is usually more critical than spread by the controlled traditional media. This is how it is displayed, that alternative communication is a result of alternative social process, which differs in form, function and content to the social process proposed by the dominant system, usually guided by the relationship of government and traditional media. The great success of the alternative media is born from the vision of the individuals persons, those who in their daily existence are partakers of social reality.
Thus alternative communication is defined as non-authoritarian that arises from the need to communicate the reality of social life. But When is that individuals, societies and communication scholars are aware of their use and existence? Alternative communication seems inherent to the development and evolution of human beings in society, however, is to the twentieth century, in the early sixties given the rise of alternative media in the world. The Sixties are times of ideological and structural changes around the globe and the social and political context is the shore individuals to generate new forms of communication: the alternation and participation.

What the Online Revolution means todays life


Today, if we talk about Online Revolution, undoubtedly it appears with the Internet because Internet which provides people an environment, a space to gather around for any reason. Actually, Internet which is new connection way ,rather than telephone, fax etc,between people wherever they live. As they come together onto Internet with each other, they become powerful because the powerful not only measure number of people, but also their ideas, their rebellions, their resistance increase because they combine, organize in an effectively way.

And I want to give way some examples in terms of online revolution in different countries.

Author who gives example Yemen movement. This movement which is conducted by many young people in Yemen through social media. Why this movements give momentum because of Facebook group users sprang up spontenously. One of the popular one group called ‘ Yemeni Anger Revolution’. Number of its members are 20.000. On the other hand, Yemenis who use twitter and they started to organize protests with people who are from different countries. On the other hand, authors give way to other countries to create revolution through social media. In Bahrain, many onlive activists who open hashtag , they upload videos, pictures. They create blog which is called Global Voices . Also, one of the activists who share her bad experience toward police and share video to show how police behave to her.

In Algeria, authorities who stop and delete, limite some Facebook accounts and because of this reason protesters who come together towards attitude of state authorities.

In Morocco, protesters who create ‘Movement of Freedom and Democracy’ and their members are 89.000. Their aim to make peaceful protest. The protesters underline that ‘Violent protest is usually not fruitful, especially when you have a peaceful and modern medium you can express yourself and your problems.’

In Iraq, protesters come together for resisting poverty and corruption onto their Facebook group which is called ‘Iraqi Streets for Change’. Young people in Iraqi who express their opinions through social communication and they make connection  Tunisia and Egypt because their movements effect onto Iraqi young

In Syria, there was a big problem because authories not only prevent blogs but also create fear onto bloggers because they jail one of the blogger who is 19 years old. Her blog content relates with the suffering from Palestinians. After then, young people who are in Syria create Facebook group which is called ‘The Syrian Revolution 2011’ and the follower number is 24.000.

In Saudi Arabia, activists who encounter pressure of authorities because they react same thing like other countries, they block Facebook and blogs and control over people who are especially activists. In order to react authorities activist who hold a place ‘Saudi Revolution 20 March’. They contact with Tunisia and Egypt and they provide mobilisation between youth to take an action. They protested on the street in dates of 6 th, 11 th, and 20 th March.So these show that how online revolution start to effect with participating people and reaction of them to authorities. (I take information from this link: )  In this link, author who penetrates and give detail information about Egyptian Revolution. This is called ‘Facebook, Twitter or Social Media Revolution’ The Egyptian people who hold a place in social media, especiall last 5 years, but in the period January and February 2011, the usage percentage of Facebook, Twitter, Youtube, blogging websites increased and mainstream media hold a place at the backpart of this and the participation number of social media start with small number and then it increased day by day and the effectiveness of this revolution is affected by Tunisia revolution in terms of economic social factors.

so these examples show that how revolution through online become pwoerful day by day towards state and this shows that how resistance of people spread one country to another.

In conclusion, online revolution provides firstly with Internet and people who have Internet access come together to resist towards powerfuls, problems in terms of economy, social justice. They provide connection, and this connection happens under common goals because they want to react something and they receive support of one another under creating groups onto Internet especially social media. If I compare revolution in mainstream to online, there is many differences, because as people want to share protests or activists opinions, they easily connect to the Internet and share with other people whose place doesn’t important. Also, in mainstream media, as media patronage accept or not, they encounter  pressure of authorities , they don’t imply freedom of speech, they set agendas in mainstream media and manipulate people according to specific ideologies but in online, everyone has right to organize other people and say everything about any issue  so online revalutions which cause antagonism environment toward powerful, authorities but it is a positive frame to see democractic scene.






Alternative Media

The Difference between Mainstream Media and Alternative Media

What is mainstream media?

The mainstream media usually acts for the voice of the majority. The main aim of the mainstream media is to amuse people. Usually they do not want people to deal with serious things instead they want them to deal with famous people or sports facilities. It is also possible to explain the “Televole” movement with this mainstream media. Generally the mainstream media sees the people as uneducated and silly. According to mainstream media directors the dominated opinion about people is; they should be kept away from the public sphere because if they interfere in the issue they will cause problems, the people’s duty is to be the audience not the participant. Media has started to operate as a commercial business with the effect of the change of capitalist system and the change in the marketing conditions. The aim of the commercial enterprises is to maximize their profits. Therefore, with the changing conditions media only seeks to maximize their profits as a commercial enterprise. Of course mainstream media aims to maximize their profit but their main aim should be giving information, molding public opinions in economical, political and cultural issues, raising awareness of people and guiding people because these are the essential aims of mainstream media. The ones who render this mainstream media to a profitable sector are the holding companies whose only care is the profit.

What is alternative media?

Some segments of the population who are not represented in the globalized media environment have created an alternative media against the mainstream media to make their voices heard by the public. While I am talking about alternative media I don’t just mention the new communication technologies or new mass communication tools but I mean standing against the tradition. Alternative media and alternative press means to be alternative in terms of your perspective and your knowledge. Alternative media is a form of mass communication which rejects or challenges the settled and institutionalized politics Alternative media exhibits the news which the mass media or press do not show, write or explain about with an accurate and reliable understanding on journalism. It can be defined as a media tool which includes the local news of the country and can be an opponent media tool when it is appropriate. Commercial concerns are not important for alternative media unlike the mainstream media. Alternative media gives priority to the local citizens to create a communication channel among them and offers a free, participatory platform for the people who can express their ideas and opinions freely.

Citizen Journalism

When we look at the mainstream media we faced  controlling and undepended media. They are controlled by financial sectors and media owners filtered some news. If they want to publih we can see it but if do not want to the publish we watch manipulating news. We see it Arap Spring and Israil situation. Media owners give news according to the their political views and their political interest. And they are controlled by governments and filtered. But with new technology , born alternative way. Nowadays people can get connect easily and freely. A case when it did very short time we heart it with social media. Like facebook,tweteer, youtube. It is borned citizen journalism. Everyone can make own news and can share easily. We see example of it in Arabian Spring. People share news and pictures, videos in Tahrir . So it is opposit of the mainstream media. And last example of Reyhanlı. Goverment is filtered but people share real  news on the Internet. Some newspapers and online media start citizen journalism. You take photo and write about case and sent this site. At the same time your news publish the public.

Culture jamming

When we defined as culture jamming, “is a tactic used by many anti consumerit social movements to disrupt or subvert media culture and its mainstream  cultural institutions, including corporate advertising”. (wikipedia) Using on bilboards, posters and others . Their aim are avoke behavioral change and political action. An example of cultural jamming work use very known ads MCDONALDS . In there their aims peoples eating habbits. In example of cultural jamming works ‘ Buy nothing day’. In that they they are going to shops but they are not buy anything.  They want to create some awarnesses. Some critises of the cultural jammers ; confused with articstic appropation and act of vandalism . In Turkey we see it against to the politics. Like vote times and nowadays we faced with these against the AKP. Expecially Tayyip Erdoğan.

Citizen Journalism/ User Generated Content

First of all I would like to start what citizen journalism is. The definiton of citizen journalism; people who are not journalist and do not depend on any institution, write the events or shere the photes or videos about events on their blogges or web sites. The other names of citezen journalism are partipatory jornalism, eye witness journalism or user generated content. In fact the name of “user generated content” explains the understanding of “user as producer”. Especially with developing of citizen journalism, internet users have became a producers. They make their own web sites, bloggs and they share their news on their web sites.
In fact the term of citizen journalism have been spreaded fastly because today everyone has at least one mobile phone and every mobile phone has a camera. Therefore everyone is a citizen journalist. When we think about news making, it is benefical in terms of journalism. Thanks to citizen journalism and power of internet, people can reach more new story, and Professional journalist make a lot of new stories.
“journalists can’t be everywhere at once and often arrive after the news event has actually happened. In many cases, such as during the Arab Spring, journalists can be banned or censored by regimes and individuals that don’t want stories to be reported. So citizen journalists with camera phones can be our sole source of first hand information.” (Measures, C, The Rise of Citizen Journalism, 2013)
In conclusion, I can easily say that citizen journalism is the best example of “user as producer”. Thanks to internet, people can create their own world, and has transformed a producer. Therefore communication has gained more power. People started to be informed what happen in their world.

Measures, C, The Rise of Citizen Journalism, 2013,