Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Eastern Europe

Above Car & Driver drove through the former Soviet Bloc to meet Eastern Europeans today.

Hedwig de Smaele wrote the article "Enlarged Audio-Visual Europe" to address the expansion of the European Union and its media. Below the maps show that Eastern Europe has been disputed territory for centuries, going back to the Ottoman Empire, then the Austria-Hungarian Empire and most recently the Soviet Bloc.

Below the area of former Yugoslavia is still in dispute with Kosovo recently proclaiming its independence from the war ridden area.

The European Union now includes Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, Poland, Czech Republic, Slovakia, Slovenia, Hungary, Romania, Bulgaria. The transformation of the 1990’s saw post-communist states becoming more Western in values and technology.

The key term is “Europeanization” meaning the west influences the east and not the reverse, a one way process. These countries have been asked to respect “principles” known as the “Copenhagen criteria
-functioning market economy
-capacity to cope with competition
-stable democracy with respect of rights and minorities
-willingness to use 80,000 page of legislation

Below Czech 24 is modeled to look like Western and American media sources.

The EU is aware of “the diffusion of cultural norms” : “Television programs and films however are considered a potential vehicle to spread norms, ideas and identities and the European Union clearly has the ambition to foster a sense of “European-ness."

A Pan-European audio-visual culture has not yet come into existence. The only media that appears to unify Europe is competition. Below Eurovision song contest and the Euro cup.

Euronews is the closest to European Media offering the same news in English, French, German, Italian, Spanish, Portuguese, Russian, Turkish, Arabic

The main problem of expanded Europe media is fragmentation into small language markets. National productions of small eastern European markets cannot be exported. 80% content never leaves

Europe is also American dependent (reached 63% of audiences) but because the East does not make enough of its own they are even more dependent on US content. The author suggests Eastern Europe is in an economic ghetto. Strong European countries have media exportation problems but it’s worse for the East so stronger countries have partnered with Eastern countries for support.

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