Foreign correspondents in the Cold War: The politics and practices of East German television journalists in the West

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


This article analyses the transnational production processes of foreign correspondence in the Cold War. It examines the double role of foreign correspondents as reporters and Cold War political agents. Recent scholarship has explored the activities of Western correspondents reporting from the Communist world. Little is known, however, about Eastern bloc correspondents in the West. Drawing on the rarely studied files on East German foreign correspondents held by the Deutsches Rundfunkarchiv, the article problematizes the image of GDR journalists as obedient intelligence officers and highlights the dilemmas of journalists deployed to defend national interests. Focusing on the Nordic countries in the mid1970s, the article provides detailed insights into the politics and practices of East German foreign correspondence before the digital revolution. The article thus shows the benefits of going beyond the traditional focus on media content to analyse the daily practices as well as the political and symbolic significance of journalism. It contributes to the growing historical research on foreign correspondents and the media in East Germany and beyond


Research areas and keywords

Subject classification (UKÄ) – MANDATORY

  • History
  • Media Studies


  • Journalism, GDR, foreign correspondents, television, Noric countries, Cold war
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)75-90
Number of pages16
JournalMedia History
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2019
Publication categoryResearch

Related research output

Laura Saarenmaa & Marie Cronqvist, 2020, In : Nordicom Review. 41, 1, p. 19–31

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Marie Cronqvist, 2019, (Accepted/In press) Remapping Cold War Media: Institutions, Infrastructures, Networks, Exchanges. Lovejoy, A. & Pajala, M. (eds.). Indiana University Press

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingBook chapter

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Related projects

Marie Cronqvist, Laura Saarenmaa & Sune Bechmann Pedersen

Crafoord Foundation


Project: ResearchIndividual research project

Marie Cronqvist & Patrik Lundell


Project: ResearchInternational collaboration

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Related activities

Cronqvist, M. (First/primary/lead supervisor)

Activity: Examination and supervisionSupervision of PostDoc

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