The journalist as a foreign expert: American television correspondents reporting on the November parades (1960s-1980s)

Autumn 2017

The spectacle of the October commemorations became a ‘global iconic event’ in the era of television. From the 1950s on, the new media not only amplified the symbolic dimension and the visual culture of Red October to a unified Soviet audience, but more importantly, participated in its re-mediation, re-appropriation and negotiation in other domestic spaces, such as capitalist Western democracies. Drawing on the audiovisual archives of the three main US national television broadcasters (ABC, NBC, CBS), this paper shows how the representations of the November parade on US television makes a paradigmatic case of the international echoes of this historical event. It considers both the political significance of Soviet commemoration events in the Cold War context and the role of propaganda for both the USSR and the USA, both nations trying to control their own image and the image of the other side for their public opinion. 

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Twentieth Century Communism Journal Issue 13: October, the Cold War and Commemoration: Solidarity at a Safe Distance?