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About this book

This book explores Cold War journalism and journalists as threat, representing ‘enemy’ systems and ideologies. The book also examines Cold War aspirations of forging transnational journalistic connections across the Iron Curtain as well as finding common journalistic ground within the East and West blocs. The book shines a critical light on overly idealistic visions for that journalistic common ground, drawing on primary archival source material to investigate journalists and reporting work, journalistic content and journalistic venues during the Cold War era. This is not a book about traditional war correspondence – rather, it is about the rhetorical battles and the ideological fronts that have shaped and continue to shape our world. By fully understanding how journalism and journalists have intersected with hostile barriers and divisions in the past, we can have a more nuanced understanding of the current global media environment.

Table of Contents

Frontmatter

Chapter 1. Introduction

Abstract
During the Cold War, threats posed by the “other” side coexisted with desires to maintain connections across the Iron Curtain. Journalists often found themselves on the front lines of these Cold War communication tensions. This chapter challenges common assumptions about Cold War journalism and introduces exceptions to such assumptions, which are explored in further detail in subsequent chapters. The introduction presents a road map of those chapters as well as a methodological overview, and it emphasizes the current relevance of the historical research.
Kevin Grieves

Chapter 2. Cold War Journalists as the Enemy

Abstract
The act of reporting from the other side of the Iron Curtain came across as a provocation during the Cold War. This was in large part due to the differing conceptualizations of journalism on either side. It was also due to the perception of journalists as political actors representing “enemy” systems and ideologies. This chapter highlights particular circumstances and events that reflect some of the tensions inherent in such a conceptualization of the Cold War role of journalists and journalism. Consideration of individual journalists and their work includes questions about movement into and around a territory, journalists’ interactions with officials and average citizens and their ability to record their observations by various means and modalities.
Kevin Grieves

Chapter 3. Cold War Journalism as Threat: Shielding Against Foreign Media Content

Abstract
This chapter’s guiding theme is the idea that any exposure to foreign media content might be harmful. During the Cold War, governments, media organizations, and individuals attempted to either block such exposure or to educate citizens about the dangers of that contact with “enemy” content. This chapter addresses jamming and efforts to control print content across the Iron Curtain. The chapter draws on case study research on East Germans listening to the U.S. government-run station RIAS Berlin as well as listeners in North America tuning in to Radio Moscow during the Cold War. The chapter traces patterns of concern over radio waves as a threat, and it highlights mixed messages and inconsistencies in such reactions.
Kevin Grieves

Chapter 4. Cold War Journalism as Utility: Leveraging Foreign Media Content

Abstract
Sometimes, exposure to foreign information might be politically expedient for either side. Allowing coverage by news organizations from the other side might lead to valuable publicity on the home front, even if the foreign audience reacts negatively. This chapter examines circumstances in which governments, media organizations, and individuals did not seek to block or restrict journalistic activity across the Iron Curtain because some sort of perceived benefit could be reaped. This chapter draws on research on East Germans listening to the U.S. government-run station RIAS Berlin as well as research on listening to Radio Moscow in North America during the Cold War. The chapter also examines international reactions to a CBS documentary film on life in East Germany during the early 1960s.
Kevin Grieves

Chapter 5. Celebrating Transnational Journalistic Connections

Abstract
During the Cold War, journalists and media organizations sought closer connections with counterparts from other countries on “their” side of the Iron Curtain, as a means of bolstering their side in the Cold War ideological battle. This chapter investigates such efforts at forging transnational connections within the East and West blocs, and the aspirations of the parties involved. Such connections include initiation of international journalist exchanges, sharing of journalistic philosophical guidelines, and the development of international journalism organizations. Media organizations and nations engaged in such soft-diplomacy efforts as a means to boost their image on the world stage. This chapter also highlights idealistic visions to use satellite communication to foster greater understanding and peace via a live global television forum in the early 1960s.
Kevin Grieves

Chapter 6. Questioning Common Ground

Abstract
The common ground of journalists and media organizations from different nations is not always what it seems at first. As this chapter illustrates, the outcomes of international journalist exchanges were sometimes unpredictable. As examples from East Germany’s media relationship with the Soviet Union reveal, shifts in one society’s media system can strain transnational connections with another. And the hopes for the global satellite television forum discussed in the preceding chapter encountered a harsh reality in the late 1960s as ideological rifts within the Western world grew deeper. This chapter shines a critical light on overly idealistic visions for journalistic common ground and emphasizes the limitations of journalism and media in fostering closer understanding among different peoples.
Kevin Grieves

Chapter 7. Conclusion

Abstract
The concluding chapter briefly draws together key ideas from each of the preceding chapters. The chapter then returns to the point of departure from the introduction: the present relevance of the research. The chapter presents several examples of how we might apply the insights from the historical context to current circumstances, and it points out limitations in forcing such connections.
Kevin Grieves

Backmatter

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