Remembering Media and Journalism in Socialist Yugoslavia

Oral History Interviews with Audiences

  • Jernej Kaluža Fakulteta za družbene vede, Univerza v Ljubljani
  • Jernej Amon Prodnik Fakulteta za družbene vede, Univerza v Ljubljani
Keywords: memory studies, themed life-story interviews, socialist Yugoslavia, media use, history of journalism


In recent decades, memory studies have become a prominent interdisciplinary field of research, with several studies focusing on the specifics of socialist Yugoslavia and its demise. Less attention, however, has been paid to the media and journalism in the life and functioning of the state. This study explores what role these central social institutions played in everyday lives of the population, what level of trust they enjoyed amongst them, and how they influenced the proccesses of formation of collective and individual memory in socialist Yugoslavia. We address these issues by analysing 96 semi-structured oral history interviews with media audiences. Interviewees had personal recollections of this era, since they lived in socialist Yugoslavia most of their lives, and could therefore provide unique and valuable insights not available by other means. Interpretative analysis was done with deductive coding of the interviews and was separated into three parts: everyday media use; trust in the media and journalism; and perceptions of socialist Yugoslavia. We resorted to some broad generalisations, which enabled us to give a short overview of the dataset, while also indicating their value for  future research. In general, this data provides a much more nuanced picture of the socialist past than it is usual in today’s polarised public discussion.  


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