CFP: Radio and the Challenge of Cold War

Radio and the Challenge of Cold War: local organization and global message

Panel der 3. Schweizerischen Geschichtstage

Freiburg (Switzerland)

7-9 February 2013

Dealdine: 30 April 2012

Departement für Historische Wissenschaften, Universität Freiburg (Schweiz); Schweizerische Gesellschaft für Geschichte

As a global ideological fight, the Cold War requires new propagandistic means to promote political, economical, cultural and religious ideals on a large scale. The specialists soon realise the need to fit the messages to the local contexts. Such is the case for Radio Free Europe (RFE) toward the East block, and for its related chanel Radio Liberty (RL) towards the USSR. Strategic changes are made both in the Board of Direction and the editorial staff, where American, Western European and émigrés work alongside, whose views differs from one another. This reorganization have a direct impact on the delivered message. The latter is caught between the imperatives of the East-West conflict and the local realities and needs, that the Boards of direction of the radios try to seize with new analysis tools.

The goal of this panel is to mix the approaches of this media. RFE/RL may well be a textbook case, but the research on other international radios is needed in order to compare the broadcast conditions, the delivered message as well as its reception. This three dimensions, based on a local axis and a transnational one, will be considered in the three papers. The perspective should be extended by papers that would consider the North-South dimension, for example by focussing on the yet to study history of the international radios in Africa or of Radio free Asia.

This panel will examine the media globalization phenomenon that has been described by taking a close look at the cultural and political contexts where it takes place. They have a significant influence on the organization of the media. This process doesn’t come down to a mere one-way transfer from global to local, but displays an exchange between global processes and local phenomenons.

Dieses Diskussionspanel findet im Rahmen der 3. Schweizerischen Geschichtstage ( statt.

Matthieu Gillabert (
University of Fribourg, Switzerland

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