Changing reality

International Conference 'Changing Reality. Power, Media and (Inter)National Behaviour' - 25/26 september 1991

Concerning the truth, people have very few demands, the Dutch professor of sociology A.N.J. den Hollander remarked in 1976. He drew this conclusion after studying the journalism of the ‘muckrakers’ in ‘the Gilded Age’ of the United States, one century ago. It may be an old saying, he said, that things are not what they appear. But is it true? A lot of things are just what they seem to be. A lot of other things are open for interpretation, and some things are replaceable by a pseudo-reality. Under the title ‘Changing Reality. Power, Media and (Inter)National Behaviour’, I organised an international conference in 1991 about the difficult relations between politics and the media, and vice versa. The reason was obvious: as Machiavelli has shown, as communism has shown, as the Gulf War has shown, the problems of the media are not in the last place a problem of power, a well perceived phenomenon in especially The Netherlands. At the conference various people spoke and discussed these ‘media matters’: Frits Bolkestein, Elie Kedourie, Ryszard Kapúscínski, Stanislav Andreski, Marc Chavannes, Steven Mosher and Karel van Wolferen. ‘Changing Reality’ (Haagse Drukkerij en Uitgeversmaatschappij, 1992) is the booklet with the proceedings of this conference.

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