Dr. OĞUZHAN YANARIŞIK
Insight Turkey, Vol. 18 No. 2, 2016
Despite the new communicative opportunities presented by social media, the mainstream media remains the key site of discourses with significant power over narratives that represent and shape western societies. Nick Couldry describes ‘media power’ as “the concentration in media institutions of the symbolic power of “constructing reality” (both factual representations and credible fictions).” In this framework, the mainstream media has an important role in influencing identity and policy narratives that are dominant amongst both the public and the elite. The term ‘mainstream’ here roughly denotes the most widely circulated print media as well as the most heavily trafficked online media and the most watched/listened broadcast networks.
The mainstream media is uniquely positioned to exert control over discourse through its operation as a central institution of information production and its relations to other dominant institutions. Although dominant ideologies and their variations are jointly produced by the elite class, “media elites have the special role and persuasive power to control dominant discourse reproduction among the population at large.” It is predominantly the media elite’s definition of the situation that contributes to the manufacturing of public opinion…