Cold War news : a paradigm in crisis
The role of the media - East and West - in the East European revolutions in 1989 has been the subject of much discussion and research. However, the focus has been on the extent to which the media directly influenced these events. There has been very little work done on the impact of the revolutions on how the western news media reported events to their domestic audiences. Yet for over 40 years, they had reported Eastern Europe and the Soviet Union within a specific, interpretative framework: "Cold War News". Suddenly, in 1989, the whole referential structure appeared to fall apart as assumptions shattered and certainties crumbled. This study, therefore, examines the impact of political revolution and crisis on 'Cold War news'. It uses in-depth quantitative-qualitative content analysis, and pays special attention to images, language, themes, and structures of access in order to reveal the nature and extent of the paradigm crisis and point up contradictions that may arise as a result.