East Meets West: The Cultural History of Television in Bulgaria
VIEW Journal , Volume 6 - Issue 11 p. 6- 21
This study provides a glimpse into the cultural history of the popular medium of television for the period 1944-2016. Seeking a more nuanced and more evolved understanding of the role of the television in Bulgaria during socialist and in post-socialist times, this essay argues for a ‘situated’ reading of these historical developments, theorising that socialist and post-socialist television are indeed defined by disparate, yet equally influential and dynamic, cultural and political processes. From the ‘golden age’ of communist-era television, during which TV was hailed as a main force for mobilisation, education and entertainment, we will trace the ‘boom’ in commercial TV channels at the offset of the transition, with its often-questionable quality, leading to the emergence of several serious contenders on the broadcasting scene, both in terms of their financial value and in terms of their power over public opinion.