Based on his PhD research, Sarphan Uzunoglu describes recent technological changes in the Turkish journalism industry that have lead to an increasing precarisation of the journalistic profession.

This presentation will be about the experiences of journalists from Turkey in the age of precarization marked by political, economic, and technological transformations at a national and international level. While some journalists in Turkey who actively work in newsrooms try to react against the precarization in journalism environments and dramatic changes in the nature of their industry individually and collectively, others have been exiled from the industry or have never been able to become stable in the journalism industry due to various reasons such as neoliberal methods of employment, narrow job opportunities, and inability to adapt to technological shifts or political polarization.

Observing the three leading reasons of this precarization in journalism industry, the speech will focus on determinate factors for some basic phenomena of precarization in the journalism industry such as insecurity, lack of confidence, flexibility, cheap labour and decreasing quality in journalistic labour, which can be considered key terms of this speech. Based on field research, statistical data obtained from governmental and non-governmental actors, participatory observation, and in-depth interviews, I will try to contribute to the ongoing global debate on the cognitive labour sector, debates on time, space and labour in new capitalism, and the relationship between new media technologies and precarization.

The main argument of my presentation will be that there is a deep relationship between a neoliberal shift in working regimes and technological developments, both of which are accompanied by political and social changes such as de-unionization and social polarization. Furthermore, I argue that most of the recent studies and political commentaries on Turkey’s existing political and media environment are missing this interrelation, and as a result we cannot explain precariousness in Turkey’s contemporary journalism environment only with the impact of authoritarian populism (or so called illiberal democracy) and it is a part of the global trend towards general precariousness.

Uzunoglu's presentation is a joint initiative by the War & Peace Dynamics research group (WarPeD) and by the ENCODE research network at UiT Tromsø.

Keywords: labor studies, journalism, newsonomics, precariat, political economy

Sarphan Uzunoğlu is Associate professor at UiT – The Arctic University of Norway. Before UiT, Uzunoğlu worked as a lecturer in Kadir Has University Public Relations and Information Department. Having written for Turkish dailies like Taraf, Akşam, Radikal and Evrensel in the past, Uzunoğlu has recently been contributing to platforms such, and Some of the academic papers, non-academic publications and book chapters by Uzunoğlu can be accessed through Uzunoğlu's academia profile.

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