Média a veřejnost: K nacionální a transnacionální moci médií v konfliktním poli mezi Čechy, Slováky a Němci
The Media and the Public: The National and Trans-National Influence Potential of the Mass Media in the Difficult Relationship between Czechs, Slovaks, and Germans
In this introductory contribution, the authors explain the central questions and themes which are raised in the papers contained in this special issue. The papers were presented at a conference of the German-Czech and German-Slovak Commission of Historians. Their starting point is the observation that modern mass media, while trans-national in effect, always remain linked to a national context due to language and traditions. With this as a backdrop, individual case histories exemplify the development of the mass media since the beginning of the nineteenth century. The focus is on the political potential of the media on one hand, with their importance for the fundamental politicization of European societies during the nineteenth century being assessed as well as their being exploited by the dictatorships of the twentieth century. On the other hand, aspects characterizing the development of intersocietal relations are examined, such as how the media shaped perceptions which Czechs, Germans, and Slovaks harbored of each other. Finally, the authors highlight the deficit of the research situation with a special view to the particularities applying to East Central Europe where, during the last two decades, not only a rapid development of the mass media themselves has taken place, but media sciences have been recreated to a considerable degree.
Keywords: Czech lands, Slovakia, Germany, mass media