History and media in Europe 2018: third update

The first reports about the representations of history broadcast on European televisions or circulating on the social networks explored periods during which anniversaries of important events, that had occurred mainly in contemporary years but also, at times, in previous epochs were supposed to ring a bell in the memory of spectators and therefore lead the tv channels, especially the public networks, which are the main keeper of national memory, to put in air programmes illustrating or explaining these events. It was revealing to compare the importance of historical memory in various European countries and to see which ones emphasized or neglected, and even, in some cases, resolutely ignored this past.

For the last report we have modified the deal and chosen the second week of April 2018, from 9 to 15, a period that does not stand out in any way and cannot be referred to any noticeable event. Yet, 2018 was the fifteenth anniversary of 1968, a year in which the two “blocks” dividing the world, the Western and the Soviet ones, were in trouble. The student revolt against the US armed intervention in Vietnam brought about violent demonstrations in American, European and even Japanese universities and launched the wave of terrorist attempts that shook western Europe during a decade. A timid desire of independence from the Soviet Union emerging in Eastern Europe, especially in Czechoslovakia, provoked a reaction of Moscow, which did not hesitate to occupy Pa-raga and Bohemia. The whole 1968, not any specific moment, was crucial, it could have been interesting for televisions to take advantage of an “empty” week and offer lighting on year that witnessed deep, lasting commotions in the world. On the other hand the arrival of African and Asiatic migrants provoked in many part of the European Union, a reaction of intolerance that found an expression on occasion of electoral campaign. As Europe has been traversed by several waves of immigration and has sent migrants to other continents, tv networks should have given their public information about population displacements in the European history.

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