Split Signals: Television and Politics in the Soviet Union (Communication and Society)
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Television has changed drastically in the Soviet Union over the last three decades. In 1960, only five percent of the population had access to TV, but now the viewing population has reached near total saturation. Today's main source of information in the USSR, television has become Mikhail Gorbachev's most powerful instrument for paving the way for major reform.
Containing a wealth of interviews with major Soviet and American media figures and fascinating descriptions of Soviet TV shows, Ellen Mickiewicz's wide-ranging, vividly written volume compares over one hundred hours of Soviet and American television, covering programs broadcast during both the Chernenko and Gorbachev governments. Mickiewicz describes the enormous significance and popularity of news programs and discusses how Soviet journalists work in the United States. Offering a fascinating depiction of the world seen on Soviet TV, she also explores the changes in programming that have occurred as a result of glasnost.
observer" accords him the highest status in the profession. The letter virtually accused Pozner of complicity in subversion and sabotage—an extraordinary document and an extraordinary publication decision on the part of Izvestia's editorial board. There is 56 Split Signals profound concern, and quite obviously not only on the part of an ordinary citizen, but elsewhere in places of power, that tolerance of opposing views has its limits. Then, too, the provision of opposing points of view is
we have tried to minimize the effects of individual events. Had we used a narrower time frame, it is much more likely that our results would have been skewed by the sudden peaks and valleys of areas of attention.5 We looked at each broadcast in real time, receiving the Soviet news on the First Program by satellite.6 Altogether we analyzed just over 105 hours of newstime, with ABC accounting for just under 39 hours and Vremya, for 66.5 hours.7 Countries of the World: The Geography of News The
Soviet media coverage clearly shows, there are many important dimensions, building over time, on which the Soviet Union considers its interests to be consistent with United Nations activities. The importance of Nicaragua is obvious, but it is interesting too for what it suggests about its neighbor. Nicaragua is not the only Soviet friend in the Western hemisphere. Cuba helps Soviet foreign policy interests with manpower and internally has patterned itself far more decisively on the Soviet
countries: Mexico, Great Britain, France, Italy, South Africa, and India—all of which got at least 2 percent of airtime (or 46 minutes) over the five months.27 Four countries were given 2 percent of Vremya's airtime: Great Britain, Bulgaria, India, and the United Nations. But another nineteen received 1 percent (or 40 minutes) of Vremya's airtime over the five months, compared with eight for ABC. Of the eight, all except two are also the greatest consumers of percentage of stories. The two
difficult thing to do) to catch a signal won't work. True, downconverters and LNAs could be smuggled into the country, but unless the illegal operation were massive, it could not supply the entire population or even a very significant part of it. Someday a set may be developed that tunes directly to the lOGHz signal and the downconverters and LNAs won't be needed, but that set has yet to appear. Also, if the satellite were directly overhead and if the signal were very strong, the transmission of