Alternative in the Mainstream?: A “Radical” Newspaper of Turkey.
This study attempts to examine the possibilities and the limitations of alternative practices within the structural and discursive boundaries of mainstream media by focusing on the Sunday supplement of a daily newspaper in Turkey, Radikal İki (Radical Two). The Turkish electronic media landscape is dominated by only a few media conglomerates. Dogan Media Group (DMG), which is the biggest in scale and effect, not only includes all types of media production – press, broadcasting, news agency, internet, book publishing – but also has a strong position with the consumers. Besides leading newspapers such as Hurriyet and Milliyet, DMG also owns the newspaper that is analysed in this study, Radikal. Radikal has claimed to be ‘radical’ from its inception, in accordance with its title. Unlike the other rivals’ supplements that cover more life style and human interest news on Sundays, Radikal İki offers a forum for academics, public intellectuals, politicians, activists, NGOs, university students and citizens. The mostly discussed issues in Radikal İki, range from nationalism, democracy, leftism, feminism, to art, literature and current affairs. The most crucial point for the purpose of my study is that Radikal İki is considered to be an alternative medium (by its authors and readers) which circulates in the mainstream media. In this context, I will investigate the conditions and manifestations of this alternative media practice with a particular emphasis on whether it is possible to have the ‘alternative in the mainstream’. Another concern of this study is to argue for the potential of mainstream media as an alternative public sphere.