Academic journal article European Journal of Social & Behavioural Sciences, The

The Effect of Dominant Ideology on Media: The Syria Case

Academic journal article European Journal of Social & Behavioural Sciences, The

The Effect of Dominant Ideology on Media: The Syria Case

Article excerpt

1. Introduction

Media has an important function in imposing its thoughts to public by pretending as if it is independent of power. It also helps to maintain social control by formatting social thought according to the ideology of the ruling. In fact, public opinion is not the voice of society; it is the voice of power. It uses all the amenities for trying to format and check the community. According to Althusser (1971), as an ideological state apparatus, media binds society to sovereign power by will rather than pressure. In this perspective, newspapers play an important role as part of the media in shaping the provision of consent. In the last century, especially in developed countries which has been experienced great progress, it has been witnessed that media is used effectively as an ideological apparatus of power in terms of shaping the public opinion. Content of the newspapers can give us traces about the purpose of the related ideology.

Sreberny-Mohammadi (1984) stated that regionalism shows itself explicitly in foreign news. In her study, up to 63% of foreign news in the press is composed of other countries' news located within the nearby geographical area. Stevenson and Cole (1984) also asserted that world press gives priority to neighboring geographical area of the country in foreign news. This conclusion is also valid for the Turkish press. In the research of Ahmet Tan (1989), it is stated that 85% of the news in the Turkish press is concerned with the country's foreign policy issues. Foreign policy is emerging as the most important determinant on the overall structure of foreign news.

News about Syria in Turkish newspapers is seen as an obvious example including internal and external policies of power politics and as a neighboring country. Turkish government's foreign policy towards Syria has been changed with the onset of Syrian internal turmoil. As for the ministry of foreign affairs (2013), the recent developments in Syria carry the potential to exceed the limits of peace and stability in the region. According to Cagaptay (2013); for all the talk of Turkey's "zero problems with neighbors (Davutoglu, 2010)" no amount of soft power has been able to protect the country from the protracted civil war in Syria and it turns out that old hard power is most useful. Government's Syria policy is heavily criticized by the opposition parties in the meantime. Many of criticism are related to the type of given support and the address of aid which may be in the boundaries of hard power apparatuses. Content analysis of Syria news in newspapers within this perspective is going to give us idea about the current ideological conflict and bias of media.

1.1. Problem Statement

It is a matter for consideration to show the impact of dominant ideology on the media. Theoretical context displays different patterns for the related issue. However there is not much research on ideological bias of Turkish media, specifically on newspapers. Newspapers as an ideological state apparatus might represent Turkish government's and opposition parties' ideological opinions and they might show bias on behalf of their ideological tendency. However a case study has to be done to lay out the inclination of ideological opinion and to prove the relationship. Syria case is an actual fact on the newspapers' agenda with different political views which has to be clarified within the effects of ideology.

1.2. Research question

Is the dominant ideology has an effect on the news in newspapers within the content?

1.3. Assumptions

Media are represented by the newspapers. Dominant ideology in the context meant to be the government's political view.

2. Theoretical Framework

2.1. Dominant Ideology, Hegemony and Media

Ideology has an extended set of meanings which gives a rich elasticity to itself. But it is not that one can infer different meanings on a kind of context. Ideology is a good definition to illustrate ethics and public memo of nations, movements or organizations. …

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