MEDIA AND IDENTITY

by Péter Bajomi-Lázár, Budapest Business School. What explains the persistence of partisan journalism in Central and Eastern Europe? During and after the political transformations of 1989–91, the countries of Central and Eastern Europe sought to Americanise, or Anglicise, their media systems. They made efforts to introduce public service media as modeled on the British Broadcasting Corporation; their broadcasting acts prescribed standards of neutrality and balance; and their freshly passed ethical codes prescribed objectivity as the main journalism standard to follow. Their efforts, however, have largely failed. In Hungary, “the one-party model of the press has not disappeared completely but has been transformed into a multi-party model that is still far away from the nonpartisan model of the press” (Lázár 1992). In the Czech Republic and in Slovakia, the failure of this concept of the press “is reflected in a lack of impartiality” (Školkay 2001). In Poland, most journalists continue to “represent partisan politician viewpoints” (Dobek-Ostrowska 2012). In the Baltic states, the media system “has not yet been fully separated from the existing political system” (Balčytiene, 2012, p. 62).…

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