French thinker Montesquieu, at his work called `The Spirit of Laws` published in 1748,
uses the separation of powers principle in order to distinguish executive, legislative and judicial powers of the state and assign them with their distinctive authority and responsibility. Today at 21st century, we can add media to the separation of powers principle as a fourth power. Even, the media can be accepted as a front runner…
We are all living in an era, where the information appears so fast, and immediately reaches to the devices placed in the people`s pocket at the other end of the world. In an era, which the trustworthiness of the quickly created and immediately consumed information is open to an interrogation, new ethical problematics occurs around the mass media devices that dominates every aspect of our lives. As the gap between the reality and the life presented to us by the media grows bigger day by day, the impact of the media on one`s relation with itself and the community is still occupying a considerable space at media theoreticians` agendas.
There are some questions asked and highlighted by media theoreticians for years: How much of the reality can be reflected by the media as it is, objectively and independently?
Can media tools approach equally to the different ethnic, cultural, gender and social classes?
It is obvious that; mainstream media act as a perception/manipulation medium because of its links with political and economic authorities. Many media channels priority is to serve as an ideological tool of the states and capitalist power elites, instead of acting as an educative and communicative medium that promotes the multiculturalism, diversity and brings its potentials to the front.
In his book `Ideology and Ideological State Apparatuses` published in 1970, French Marxist Philosopher Louis Althusser discuss that alongside with the public entities such as churches, political parties, schools and unions; visual and published media is also categorised as a states` ideological tool. According to Althusser, these tools are the safeguards of the system. Of course these ideological tools are not directly and consciously managed by the top state authorities… Nevertheless, once they are there, these tools are used as a hegemonic medium by an invisible hand based on self-interests. When we consider the todays` mainstream media networks, Althusser’ detection remains increasingly valid.
So, how is the situation in the northern part of Cyprus in terms of media attitude, perception and ethical dilemmas? In order to comprehend the ethical dilemmas of the majority of the visual and published media in northern part of Cyprus, we need to have a look at these 3 questions that forms the eco-politics of communication: Who (media boss) owns what? Who controls the media entities? Who’s gain favours out of it?
It is obvious that there are many media institutions who are controlled by political and capital powers, serving to the specific interest groups and making a manipulative publishing. Their priority is to control the information flow and create a common perception in line with their interests.
In order to eliminate the impact of such power elites -who are considering their acclaim as a criterion, failing to make in depth and quality readings/analysis on vital issues, and leading the society to the degeneration with their shallow and sometimes unethical publishes-, an opponent media culture is vitality more than a necessity.
A media culture; which is active in the socialisation process and dare to questioning, thinking and developing a style rather than imposing the ruling ideology to the target audience…
A media culture; which is fair to cultural, ethnic and class based representation, enlightening, and transform its audience into active participants instead of pacified readers…