Media Beyond Socialism: Theory and Practice in East-Central Europe

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Media Beyond Socialism treats the changing relationships among media, state, economy, and civil society in the current period of transition in East Europe from socialism to the establishment of Western-type democracies. Analyzing the relevance of mass communication and particularly of the media in the democratization process, the book addresses such issues as the problems of civil society, the principles of power and profit maximization in the communication sphere, the role the media have played in the "velvet ...

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Overview

Media Beyond Socialism treats the changing relationships among media, state, economy, and civil society in the current period of transition in East Europe from socialism to the establishment of Western-type democracies. Analyzing the relevance of mass communication and particularly of the media in the democratization process, the book addresses such issues as the problems of civil society, the principles of power and profit maximization in the communication sphere, the role the media have played in the "velvet revolution,” and concerns surrounding East Europe’s new "information age.”First offering a fundamental theoretical discussion, Splichal goes on to share empirical data documenting the changes in the East-Central European print and broadcast media in terms of ownership, political control, the role of the media, and journalism practices as well as paradoxes stemming from the economic and political restructuring of the former socialist societies. He closely examines the claim that the media have taken a radical departure from their previous activities in East-Central Europe and challenges the notion that authoritarian control of the media has been buried in the transition to democracy. Indeed, Splichal asserts that the media are in the process of mimicking the Western design and are often placed under the control of paternalism, commercialism, and nationalism.Civil Society, the Information Revolution, and Communication Rights and Freedoms. Media and Democratization in East-Central Europe. Economic Restructuring and Democratization: Privatization as the "Magic Key”? The Mobilization of the State and the Control of Media Organizations. Postsocialism and the Media: Between Paternalism and Pluralism.

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Meet the Author

Slavko Splichal is professor of communication science and sociology of information processes at the University of Ljubljana, Slovenia.

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Table of Contents

List of Tables
Preface
1 Civil Society, the Information Revolution, and Communication Rights and Freedoms 1
Democratization Controversies and the Media 3
Civil Society and the State in the Information Age 8
2 Media and Democratization in East-Central Europe 27
Commercialization of the Press 33
Reregulation of Broadcasting 45
New Journalism, Old Journalists - or the Other Way Around 66
3 Economic Restructuring and Democratization: Privatization as the "Magic Key"? 79
Paradox Number One: State Property Privatized by the State 81
Paradox Number Two: Political Communication Rooted in Economic Relations 92
4 The Mobilization of the State and the Control of Media Organizations 101
The Persisting Tradition of the Paternalistic State 102
Mass Media as the Institutional-Ideological Complex of the State 112
Another Magic Key: State-supported Nationalism 115
5 Postsocialism and the Media: Between Paternalism and Pluralism 127
From Anticapitalism to Antisocialism 128
Dialectic of Relations Between the State and Civil Society 131
The Unknown Goddess of Freedom of the Press 135
The Media for Audiences - or Vice Versa? 138
"Italianization" of the Media in Postsocialism? 143
Notes 149
References 153
About the Book and Author 163
Index 165
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