Determinants of Media Criticism in a Democracy in Transition: Applying Field Theory to Turkey

Basak Yavçan, Hakan Ovunc Ongur


Following recent studies using Bourdieusian field theory to examine journalistic freedom and media criticism, we investigated the Turkish press using a comparative perspective focusing on the media’s interaction with the nexus of power/government and market mechanisms. Using a snapshot of four Turkish newspapers in 2013, we analyzed their critical content vis-à-vis reporting about the government. To explain differences of criticism across these media outlets, we extended our qualitative and quantitative analyses to three sociopolitically key years with regard to the consolidation of governmental power. Our results indicate that what explains media criticism goes beyond structural factors and should also involve both between- and within-field variations, emphasizing media as a semiautonomous field.


media studies, bias, criticism, Bourdieusian field theory, Turkey, content analysis

Full Text: