Communication Needs and Media Change:The Introduction of Television in East and West Germany
AbstractUsing the case study of the introduction of television in East and West Germany in the 1950s and 1960s, this article discusses the correlation between the use of media and the development of society. What factors determine the changes in communication relationships and how do these changes affect society? The authors based their analysis on all available survey data from East and West Germany as well as the most important media services and a systematic cross-section of the media itself. It is shown that the expectations of people in relation to media are neither predominantly influenced by politics and media systems nor by actual media content. Primarily, their communication needs are dependent on their working conditions and daily routines. Television has stood for a desire for a pleasant domestic life and has been able to satisfy, better than all other media alternatives, the need for entertainment and a summary knowledge of current events.