Cover Osteuropa 12/2010

In Osteuropa 12/2010

Image Cultivation for Authoritarian Regimes
PR Agencies, Journalism, and the Belarus Case

Gemma Pörzgen

Deutsche Fassung


Autocratic regimes want to gain international sympathy. Western consultants help to develop the “country image.” One instrument to this end is the paid press trip. In times of sinking editorial travel budges, they are gaining in importance. In November 2010, a Berlin PR agency acting on behalf of the Belarusian regime tried to demonstrate for German journalists the liberalisation of the country. The brutal actions of the Lukashenka regime after the election on 19 December 2010 demonstrate the absurdity of such efforts to create a better image.

(Osteuropa 12/2010, pp. 61–68)