Split Signals: Television and Politics in the Soviet Union

Ellen P. Mickiewicz, Author Oxford University Press, USA $27.95 (304p) ISBN 978-0-19-505463-7
More than nine-tenths of Soviet citizens have TV sets in their home. The state-controlled television monopoly has created a mass viewing public that scarcely existed a scant 25 years ago. But if the Soviet media sees its primary mission as molding obedient subjects, it has failed on at least two counts, according to Mickiewicz, author of Media and the Russian Public. First, television viewers in the U.S.S.R. have become impatient with the tempo of domestic reform, hungry for multiple viewpoints, virtually obsessed with news about America. Second, while television has helped assimilate national minorities by blunting ethnic and linguistic differences, it has fostered a generation of couch-potatoes. In the U.S.S.R., as here, television promotes passive torpor, filling in for reading, hobbies and travel. Mickiewicz includes an exhaustive comparative analysis of Soviet and American news broadcasts. The Russians get fair marks for the scope of their international news coverage. (August)
Reviewed on: 08/05/1988
Release date: 08/01/1988
Genre: Nonfiction
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