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Abstract

In her paper, "Television and Politics in the Former East Germany," Claudia Dittmar analyzes how in the former East Germany (GDR) while television audience was restricted severly by government, at the same time West German broadcasts acquired a substantial audience and what the impact of these broadcasts had on the audience. West German television programs enjoyed a high level of popularity with the East German population, thereby posing the greatest competition to the GDR's own television stations. As a result, GDR television was forced to counteract the impact of West German television. Dittmar discusses how the West German media were accused of attempting to influence the East German audience ideologically and how the leadership of the GDR sought this to prevent by all means. The resulting competition on the airwaves forced the television stations of the GDR to adapt to the wishes of its audience, even if this meant that entertainment won the upper hand over the mediation of socialist politics and policies: Popular programs of West German television were countered with programs of mass appeal produced in the GDR.

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