The Chernobyl disaster: A case study on the information policy of the Kádár regime
CORVINUS UNIVERISYT OF BUDAPEST, HUNGARY
ABSTRACT: While the Hungarian Socialist Workers’ Party was on the rhetorical level committed to the Soviet agitation and propaganda model, in practice it increasingly deviated from it during the 1980s. As the press reflected upon the events of the day, propaganda could manifestly be at odds with reality, creating a reality gap, that is, one between what people were told to see and what they actually saw. This paper offers a case study on the communication of the Chernobyl nuclear disaster in Hungary and looks into how it was reflected in party communiqués, the party newspaper, and opinion polls. It asks the question of whether ‘accuracy’ or ‘partisanship’ prevailed in the official communication of the disaster.