On 22-25 April, 2005 an international media conference titled "Central and Eastern European Media under Dictatorial Rule in the 1940s and 1950s" will be held at University of TartuT to discuss the relationship between media and the authorities, the totalitarian media system as well as the models of content, censorship and control. According to one of the organisers of the conference, UT Media Studies Docent Maarja Lõhmus, 30 media researchers from 16 countries are expected to participate in the event, tackling media functioning under dictatorial regimes from a variety of perspectives.

In the words of Ms Lõhmus, such a wide-ranging conference treating media under dictatorial rule is a first at the UT as well as elsewhere. That is why top researchers of the field from all over the world are expected to participate, including Professor Jürgen Wilke from Germany, Professor Peter Gross from the USA, Professor Philippe-Joseph Salazar from South Africa and Professor Michael Palmer from France. Estonian academics will be represented by Professor Rein Ruutsoo, Dr. Sirje Olesk, M.A. Rutt Hinrikus and others.

The conference will focus on dictatorial pressure on Estonian, Latvian, Polish, Romanian, Czechoslovak and German media in the 1940s and 1950s, also touching on the political media in Austria, Italy and Germany, as well as dictatorial reflections/interpretations in the news releases and press of the period in France, the UK and other countries.
The aim of the conference is to develop a concept of media as an important public institution under dictatorial rule. The papers presented at the conference are expected to be published in early 2006.

The conference has been organised by Dr. Olaf Mertelsmann of UT Centre for Studies of Soviet History and Dr. Maarja Lõhmus of UT Department of Journalism and Communication. The conference forms a part of the Estonian Science Foundation Grant "Formation and media construction of the ‘public’ in Estonia in 1950-2004".
The conference programme is available at /5101?viewtype=event&event_id=72318.

Illari Lään
Head, UT Pubic Relations and Information Office

Additional information: Ms Maarja Lõhmus, UT Department of Journalism and Communication, tel. +372-52-55-055.