Open Access Journal

ISSN: 2183-2439

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The Story of Journalist Organizations in Czechoslovakia

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Abstract:  This article reviews the political history of Czechoslovakia as a vital part of the Soviet-dominated “Communist bloc” and its repercussions for the journalist associations based in the country. Following an eventful history since 1918, Czechoslovakia changed in 1948 from a liberal democracy into a Communist regime. This had significant consequences for journalists and their national union and also for the International Organization of Journalists (IOJ), which had just established its headquarters in Prague. The second historical event to shake the political system was the “Prague Spring” of 1968 and its aftermath among journalists and their unions. The third landmark was the “Velvet Revolution” of 1989, which played a significant part in the fall of Communism in Central and Eastern Europe and led to the closing of the old Union of Journalists in 1990, followed by the founding of a new Syndicate which refused to serve as the host of the IOJ. This led to a gradual disintegration and the closing down of what in the 1980s was the world’s largest non-governmental organization in the media field.

Keywords:  Cold War; communism; Czechoslovakia; International Organization of Journalists; journalism; union of journalists



© Markéta Ševčíková, Kaarle Nordenstreng. This is an open access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 license (, which permits any use, distribution, and reproduction of the work without further permission provided the original author(s) and source are credited.