Media Transitions in the Rear-View Mirror: Some Reflections
Public service broadcasting
Social and Behavioral Sciences
This essay explores the development of media systems in Central and Eastern Europe in the post-Soviet period, including the influence of social and political factors, outside media assistance, and the drive toward privatization and public service broadcasting, in an effort to understand what the experience teaches about democracy promotion, about the efficacy of various forms of media intervention, and about the utility of various forms of incentives and pressures in setting agendas and effecting political change. Despite differing historical, social, and political traditions and different forms of and reactions to media assistance efforts, factors, both exogenous (“Americanization” and “strategic communication”) and endogenous (“modernization,” secularization and commercialization), ultimately contributed to a homogenization of systems, rendering less relevant the particular distinctions among countries.