The functioning of the media as a public watchdog and as a neutral forum for society’s different perspectives is a model that is seen as vital in modern democracies. However, in societies with major social rifts these functions may conflict with one another and alter the media’s role. This work contributes to the theoretical discussion of the role of the media, through a study of the media in religious–secular conflict in Turkey and Israel. In recent years, religious parties’ electoral gains have challenged secular communities’ hold on the countries’ decision-making institutions. With the increase in religious–secular political tensions, the media on both sides have taken a central role, highlighting perceived dangers presented by the other side. As the media come to function as the vanguard of the opposing sides, the impact is twofold: loss of an important public watchdog and a deepening of societal rifts.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Sociology and Political Science
- Political Science and International Relations