Internet, Publicity and Democratic Opinion Formation in Turkey Cover Image

Türkiye’de İnternet, Kamusallık ve Demokratik Kanaat Oluşumu
Internet, Publicity and Democratic Opinion Formation in Turkey

Author(s): Burak Özçetin, Umut Tümay Arslan, Mutlu Binark
Subject(s): Media studies, Public Law, Social development, Sociology of Politics
Published by: Uluslararası Kıbrıs Üniversitesi
Keywords: internet; cyberspace; publicity; democracy; e-deliberation;

Summary/Abstract: The importance of internet as a medium in making and dissemination of opinions has increased with the growth of internet use and access to internet. Some researchers argue that cyber space can be considered as an alternative public sphere, and it plays a positive role in deepening democracy. The skeptics, on the other hand, stress the limitedness of cyber space and point to inequalities in access to internet and anti-democratic contents (hate discourse, racist, sexist, discriminatory content etc.) in circulation. In this study, which rests on TUBİTAK SOBAG research project titled “internet Channels, Opinion Formation and Dissemination: Between the Public and Private”, the relationship between cyber space and publicity is discussed with reference to quantitative and qualitative field research findings. The study maintains that the relationship between internet, publicity, discourse ethics and democracy; and new questions arising from this relationship should not be tackled with at theoretical level. For this reason, the quantitative phase of the study focused on internet usage habits and usage categories; and the qualitative part analyzed readers’ comments pages of online newspapers, alongside with rational deliberation procedures. The findings of the quantitative phase showed that, internet users in Turkey refrain from generating content on the web, and rather use internet for viewing (surfing, e-mail, reading online news, reading blogs etc.) and socialization (social networks) purposes. The qualitative analysis point that great majority of user generated content are far from meeting the requirements of rational deliberatio procedures.

  • Issue Year: 18/2012
  • Issue No: 72
  • Page Range: 51-76
  • Page Count: 26
  • Language: Turkish