The unionization (Problems) concieved by journalists in the post-1980 mediascape in Turkey

Arslantaş, Selma
The 1980s as a decade is characterized by the proliferation of new information and communication technologies as well as the expansion of US-led economic policy following the economic depression of the 1970s. Deregulation, privatization and the withdrawal of the state from many areas due to the disintegration of the welfare state model were all common all around the world. All these significant changes affected the structure of the labour market, the work organization and the framework for the employment relationship. As with any industry in the world, the organisation of the media has dramatically changed since the 1980s, the most important being the alteration of media ownership patterns. Indeed, in Turkey, the traditional media proprietors who were also journalists themselves replaced big trustees. This followed by journalists giving priority to the interests of the media proprietors’. Thus, the media became a hegemonic tool and journalists accepted working under the ideological pressure with the belief that they could not be successful unless they played the game according the rules. It was with these changes that the deunionization has emerged. Bosses aimed at decreasing the power of the union at the workplace and pulverize workers’ reaction. This study presents the results of a field study consisting of a survey of 285 journalists among which there are unionised as well as non-unionised members and in-depth interviews with 35 journalists who occupy posts such as editors, chief editors or managers. The study reveals that most journalists choose not to become a member of a union due to the fear of losing their jobs. Factors such as the structure of the media, the employment legislation and the organisation of the unions are also important in understanding the journalists’ conception of unionization. Furthermore, the lack of class consciousness among journalists also causes denunionazation in the media sector. Today, most journalists believe that they belong to the elite class of the society just like the media proprietors. Therefore, it becomes inevitable for them to represent their bosses’ class and act according to the media group’s expectations and business interests.


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Citation Formats
S. Arslantaş, “The unionization (Problems) concieved by journalists in the post-1980 mediascape in Turkey,” M.S. - Master of Science, Middle East Technical University, 2009.