Association for Political and Legal Anthropology
Oral Presentation Session
In this paper, I share preliminary findings of my ethnographic research among migrant journalists. The vast majority of dissent online news channels in Turkey was closed down – together with print media. While many journalists stopped performing their job or only chose to report in line with the government’s interests, those who wanted to continue to produce ethical and political journalism had only three options left: unemployment, prison or online news-making in exile. Acknowledging potentialities of cooperation between anthropology and journalism as two intellectual practices that have a lot in common, my research puts the focus on journalistic practices from a distance, which is caught by the misfit between culturally shaped professional experiences and stories and the ambivalent interest of an undetected global and/or diasporic audience. These journalistic practices are linked to transnational politics in the context of historically rooted tensions and alliances between Turkey and Europe. My first observations from Berlin, Germany, indicate that activism and expertise performed simultaneously by journalists living and/or working abroad by means of short-term project-based initiatives and under the conditions of the dissolution of mainstream media in the homeland. In this process of transnational transportation of knowledge and experience through one regime to another, not only core values found in European self-representations, such as freedom of expression and democracy but also universally framed ideas of journalistic endeavor, such as the public, objectivity, and the truth, are negotiated and redefined.