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Artificial Agendas: Polarization and Partisanship in the Turkish Mainstream Media through Fake News
Uppsala University, Disciplinary Domain of Humanities and Social Sciences, Faculty of Social Sciences, Department of Informatics and Media, Media and Communication Studies.
2019 (English)Independent thesis Advanced level (degree of Master (Two Years)), 20 credits / 30 HE creditsStudent thesis
Abstract [en]

This thesis revolves around the subject of fake news, a phenomenon that has been highly discussed with the advent of the internet-based media. It aims to shed light on the problem of fake news and its implications in the Turkish mainstream media by mainly departing from the discourse theory, as well as by using additional theoretical approaches over fake news and media in polarized settings. In that sense, five research questions were developed to understand how fake news items disseminate in the Turkish media ecosystem, and what this could mean for the Turkish mainstream media specifically from the contexts of political partisanship and polarization. In order to answer the research questions, a total number of 687 fake news items have been analyzed in three different data sets. After providing an overall picture of the problem of fake news in the Turkish media ecosystem, the thesis specifically focuses on fake news items that circulate within the Turkish mainstream media. Overall, 77 fake news items are further subjected to an analysis of discourse activity schema in order to find out the narratives that the fake news items are connected to the Turkish political and social context. The research shows that the use of fake news items in the Turkish mainstream media indicates divergent and conflicting epistemologies over certain social and political themes, which are government- opposition divide, secular religious divide, economy, and education. Moreover, the research also indicates that certain social and political themes are under the discursive hegemony of certain groups within the Turkish mainstream media organizations. These themes are found to be anti-immigration, anti-US, anti-Israel, and FETO. Eventually, two main points are discussed in relation to the given theoretical background. First, the problem of fake news in the Turkish mainstream media indicates a damaged understanding of journalism in the country, which requires a reorientation and reexamination. Second, media in polarized settings may increase partisan alignments and divergent epistemologies, which can lead to the use of fake news items in order to empower certain agendas.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2019. , p. 105
Keywords [en]
fake news, mainstream media, Turkey
National Category
Media Studies
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:uu:diva-387894OAI: oai:DiVA.org:uu-387894DiVA, id: diva2:1330923
Subject / course
Digital Media
Educational program
Master Programme in Social Sciences
Presentation
2019-05-21, 10:57 (English)
Examiners
Available from: 2019-06-26 Created: 2019-06-26 Last updated: 2019-06-26Bibliographically approved

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Citation style
  • apa
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