Television has changed drastically in the Soviet Union over the last three decades. In 1960, only five percent of the population had access to TV, but now the viewing population has reached near total saturation. Today's main source of information in the USSR, television has become Mikhail Gorbachev's most powerful instrument for paving the way for major reform.
Containing a wealth of interviews with major Soviet and American media figures and fascinating descriptions of Soviet TV shows, Ellen Mickiewicz's wide-ranging, vividly written volume compares over one hundred hours of Soviet and American television, covering programs broadcast during both the Chernenko and Gorbachev governments. Mickiewicz describes the enormous significance and popularity of news programs and discusses how Soviet journalists work in the United States. Offering a fascinating depiction of the world seen on Soviet TV, she also explores the changes in programming that have occurred as a result of glasnost.