Posted on 11 December 2009 by admin
By Christopher Walker
Twenty years after the fall of the Berlin Wall, the landscape for media freedom in Central and Eastern Europe and the former Soviet Union offers a decidedly mixed picture. Two divergent narratives have emerged: one, for the new democracies of Central Europe, the Baltic states, and those in southeastern Europe, is that of impressive but fitful progress. The other, a far grimmer story, is what might be characterized as the near complete reassertion of authoritarian media control in much of the former Soviet Union that has accompanied a broader assault on democratic institutions in the region.
This Jekyll and Hyde pattern of media development is starkly on display in analyses by the media and democracy monitor Freedom House and in numerous reports by other press monitors over the past two decades. Continue reading …
Posted on 08 November 2009 by admin
Will Rogers’ quip about statistics being less trustworthy than damn lies could apply equally well to opinion polls. Or rather, to the use of poll data by their most avid consumers, the media. Poll results, nicely tabulated and presented in bite-sized, quasi-scholarly chunks, are often reprocessed by harried journalists into quick news articles, not to speak of editorials.
Widely reported in the days leading up to the big Berlin Wall anniversary, a large regional opinion survey appears to back up a number of popularly held notions about attitudes toward democracy, market economics, and life in general in Central and Eastern Europe since the upheavals of the late 1980s and early ’90s. Continue reading …
Posted on 29 October 2009 by admin
Key events in the breakup and collapse of the USSR.
Posted on 03 October 2009 by admin
Posted on 06 July 2009 by admin
Twenty years ago this summer, the Baltic Way came like a giant arrow that struck the Berlin Wall from within.
By Ojars Kalnins
In 1989, there was a Wall and a Way. One came down and the other rose up. The wall was named after the city of Berlin, and it extended way beyond the steel and concrete barrier that split Germany during the Cold War. Continue reading …