REVIEW: The ‘woman in red’, media democracy and reviving public trust
Review of: The Media in Transitional Democracies, by Katrin Voltmer. Cambridge: Polity Press, 2013. 275 pp. ISBN: 9780745644592 (pbk); Rethinking Journalism: Trust and participation in a transformed news landscape, edited by Chris Peters and Marcel Broersma. London and New York: Routledge, 2013. 247 pp. ISBN: 9780415697026 (pbk); International Journalism and Democracy: Civic engagement models from around the world, edited by Angela Romano. Abingdon and New York: Routledge, 2010 & 2013. 251 pp. ISBN: 9780415961103 (hbk).
When the so-called ‘woman in red’ became a reluctant icon of a people’s revolt in Turkey in June, the state violence quickly targeted the news media. Ceyola Sungur, an academic at Istanbul’s Technical University, was projected into instant global fame because of media images of her being blasted at point blank-range with pepper spray by security police. Dressed in a red summer dress, the unarmed and defenceless woman’s defiance in the face of state assaults on protesters demonstrating over plans to remove the city’s central Gezi Park adjoining Taksim Square to make way for mega property development, became an iconic symbol of resistance.