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Radio Free Europe and the 1989 Fall of Communism in Romania

Neag, Anamaria LU (2010) SIMT05 20101
Graduate School
Abstract
Research aim and questions:
The aim of this research is to investigate the way Radio Free Europe’s Romanian Language Service presented the events of December 1989 in Romania. Since Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty was one of the most important international broadcasting institutions during the Cold War, it is relevant to see what kind of interpretation was assigned to Romania’s 1989 political and social crisis and thus get a better understanding of the role media play in social change processes.

Method and procedure:
For the purpose of this paper we have chosen to work with the general theoretical framework of social constructivist theories. The project was guided towards empirical research with the help of case study methodology... (More)
Research aim and questions:
The aim of this research is to investigate the way Radio Free Europe’s Romanian Language Service presented the events of December 1989 in Romania. Since Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty was one of the most important international broadcasting institutions during the Cold War, it is relevant to see what kind of interpretation was assigned to Romania’s 1989 political and social crisis and thus get a better understanding of the role media play in social change processes.

Method and procedure:
For the purpose of this paper we have chosen to work with the general theoretical framework of social constructivist theories. The project was guided towards empirical research with the help of case study methodology and dramaturgical analysis.
The sources of data were the political shows aired on RFE from the 18th until the 31st of December 1989. The findings were then corroborated with information gathered through interviews with four journalists working at that time at the radio station.

Results and conclusions:
On account of the analysis, it has been found that the RFE broadcasts maintained a balanced voice in reporting about the events in December 1989. In the mean time we could observe a focused, politically oriented approach in the broadcasts. It was found that RFE used the most reliable information available in those circumstances, but the programming was driven by the goal to end Nicolae Ceauşescu’s ruling and the demise of communism in Romania. While these goals came as no surprise, we have found several ways in which the media institution pursued the aim of introducing democracy to Romania. Some of the methods were: emphasizing the cruelty of Ceauşescu’s dictatorial regime, assuring listeners that the Western world is interested in their struggle, presenting Western experts view on the events or by promoting the political program of the newly emerged power structure, the Council of National Salvation Front.
The research thus provided another opportunity to observe how the media shapes and influences reality. (Less)
Please use this url to cite or link to this publication:
author
Neag, Anamaria LU
supervisor
organization
course
SIMT05 20101
year
type
H2 - Master's Degree (Two Years)
subject
keywords
Radio Free Europe, media, social change, communism, 1989
language
English
id
1666796
date added to LUP
2010-10-19 16:52:01
date last changed
2010-10-19 16:52:01
@misc{1666796,
  abstract     = {Research aim and questions:	 
The aim of this research is to investigate the way Radio Free Europe’s Romanian Language Service presented the events of December 1989 in Romania. Since Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty was one of the most important international broadcasting institutions during the Cold War, it is relevant to see what kind of interpretation was assigned to Romania’s 1989 political and social crisis and thus get a better understanding of the role media play in social change processes. 

Method and procedure:
For the purpose of this paper we have chosen to work with the general theoretical framework of social constructivist theories. The project was guided towards empirical research with the help of case study methodology and dramaturgical analysis. 
The sources of data were the political shows aired on RFE from the 18th until the 31st of December 1989. The findings were then corroborated with information gathered through interviews with four journalists working at that time at the radio station. 

Results and conclusions:
On account of the analysis, it has been found that the RFE broadcasts maintained a balanced voice in reporting about the events in December 1989. In the mean time we could observe a focused, politically oriented approach in the broadcasts. It was found that RFE used the most reliable information available in those circumstances, but the programming was driven by the goal to end Nicolae Ceauşescu’s ruling and the demise of communism in Romania. While these goals came as no surprise, we have found several ways in which the media institution pursued the aim of introducing democracy to Romania. Some of the methods were: emphasizing the cruelty of Ceauşescu’s dictatorial regime, assuring listeners that the Western world is interested in their struggle, presenting Western experts view on the events or by promoting the political program of the newly emerged power structure, the Council of National Salvation Front.
The research thus provided another opportunity to observe how the media shapes and influences reality.},
  author       = {Neag, Anamaria},
  keyword      = {Radio Free Europe,media,social change,communism,1989},
  language     = {eng},
  note         = {Student Paper},
  title        = {Radio Free Europe and the 1989 Fall of Communism in Romania},
  year         = {2010},
}