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Publicly Available Published by De Gruyter Mouton March 2, 2017

The Gezi Resistance and activist citizen reporters

  • Barış Çoban EMAIL logo and Bora Ataman
From the journal Communications


This study discusses how activist citizen reporters in Turkey, who initiated a brand-new alternative new media practice, transformed news gathering and writing activities in the process of the Gezi Park Resistance, which erupted in Istanbul in June 2013. A handful of citizens, outraged by the police violence as well as interested in human rights from a journalistic perspective chose to create their own make-shift media outlets or to become medium themselves. They gathered and simultaneously disseminated news and broadcast live on many occasions mostly through social media platforms such as Twitter, Facebook and livestream, in the absence of traditional mainstream and/or alternative media. They also contributed to the solidarity of the resistance. In this context, the theoretical framework of this study is based on concepts such as alternative media, citizen media and citizen journalism. Likewise, concepts like democracy, citizen and journalism are also re-evaluated from a radical perspective. After theorizing ‘Çapulcu Media’, a local variant of the Rodriguez’s ‘citizen media’, constructed in the Gezi Resistance by a few activist citizen reporters, this ethnographic study concentrates on their activities in the field as well as the process of their identity formation based on data collected from in-depth interviews and continuous attention given to their social media accounts. Finally, this study aims to develop a critical understanding of a radical variant of citizen journalism in the context of contemporary Occupy movements.

Published Online: 2017-3-2
Published in Print: 2017-3-1

©2017 Walter de Gruyter GmbH, Berlin Boston

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