Type of Document Dissertation Author Georgiadis, Basil Dimitri Author's Email Address BDGeorgiadis@cs.com URN etd-04092004-110642 Title The Romanian Media in Transition Degree Doctor of Philosophy Department History, Department of Advisory Committee
Advisor Name Title Jonathon Grant Committee Chair Matt Childs Committee Member Michael Creswell Committee Member Nathan Stoltzfus Committee Member Patrick O'Sullivan Committee Member Keywords
- Eastern Europe
Date of Defense 2004-03-31 Availability unrestricted AbstractThe Romanian media has progressed in only a decade and a half since the fall of Communism. Reporters discuss themes about political reform, the elections, corruption, and even political protest. They critically analyze stories asking the basic questions while frequently providing follow-up. The press has liberalized, reflecting pluralistic domestic and international information sources as opposed to the State-controlled media before 1990. The media, along with free elections, transparency of law and government, and a civil society, are important benchmarks for a society that strives to compare favorably with the West, and for that reason deserves examination.
Serious problems exist however. A weak economy makes the media susceptible to government manipulation. Legal challenges by the government and businessmen against journalists as defendants, impose hefty fines over libel and slander challenges. Control of state broadcast media by ex-Communist ruling Social Democrats prevents the mass media from contributing to the public dialogue. Social attitudes developed in the twentieth century, negatively shape the reporting of national minority groups which are substantial in Romania and the Balkans. Finally, an authoritarian tradition based on imperial, fascist, and communist rule, has manifested itself in violence towards journalists.
The dissertation examines the media within the Communist tradition from 1945-1989 and followed with a survey of the post-Communist media. A brief history of the national minorities question provides perspective on present day attitudes in the media towards these groups. A survey of NGO’s and other institutions examined progress towards a civil society. In the international context, a comparison of the situation in Romania with countries in Eastern Europe and Latin America revealed similar problems.
The media has diversified greatly considering the short time frame of this study in post-Communist Romania. Election choices, international structures and non-governmental agencies will continue to influence and change the political and media culture while a weak economy and authoritarian mentality in the government and legal system offer challenges to a developing free press and young democracy in Romania.
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