TITLE

Soviet dissidents and the American press: a reply

AUTHOR(S)
Amalrik, Andrei
PUB. DATE
March 1978
SOURCE
Columbia Journalism Review;Mar/Apr1978, Vol. 16 Issue 6, p63
SOURCE TYPE
Periodical
DOC. TYPE
Article
ABSTRACT
The article refutes the propositions set forth by Peter Osnos in his article, Soviet Dissidents and the American Press, published in the November/December 1977 issue of the Columbia Journalism Review. Roughly, Osnos sets forth two propositions: first, that the dissidents owe their prominence and influence to the Western mass media, which exaggerate their importance, and second, that Western correspondents because of their associations with dissidents present a distorted and simplified picture of Soviet life. Mass media make a person and a movement prominent, and prominence in turn increases the chances for influence. If journalists were to agree among themselves not to write or say a word about a president, for instance, then despite all levers of influence at his command or the most dramatic gestures, he would turn into something of a non-existent figure. There is much evidence to show that for a long time the Western press ignored rather than exaggerated instances of dissent in the soviet Union. From 1962 to 1965 a number of people were arrested for their political or artistic nonconformity, and although foreign correspondents were aware of these case, they wrote nothing about them because the arrests of little-known personalities were not considered an event.
ACCESSION #
16303737

 

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