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Media networks in transition: the politics of cultural production in post-unification Germany

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Abstract:

This paper responds to recent calls for a stronger engagement with the political, social and economic forces that influence cultural production with an analysis of the politico-economic contexts of media transformation in (post)unification Germany. Notwithstanding the specificity of the case presented, the wider aim is to illustrate the need for research in cultural geography to remain aware of the unequal power relations that open and foreclose opportunities for the participation of particular social groups in media discourse. The paper proceeds from an overview of developments in the media sectors of East and West Germany before the Wende ('turning point'; peaceful revolution of 1989), to a critical analysis of the transformation of Eastern Germany's media landscape during and after unification, focusing specifically on the area of broadcasting. It is my aim to demonstrate how the politico-economic structure of contemporary German broadcasting creates opportunities as well as limitations for who is allowed to report, on what issues, and for what reasons.

Keywords: CULTURAL PRODUCTION; GERMAN UNIFICATION; MEDIA TRANSFORMATION; WORDS

Document Type: Research Article

DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/14649360220133925

Publication date: June 1, 2002

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