By Dick van Lente
The atomic age was once defined as one who may quickly lead to the destruction of human civilization, yet from the start, utopian photographs have been connected to it in addition. This publication compares representations of nuclear strength in renowned media from worldwide to to track divergences, convergences, and exchanges.
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Additional info for The Nuclear Age in Popular Media: A Transnational History, 1945–1965
54 Finally, the first November issue features a reflective piece on what the “atomic age” really means, and what it may bring. The author contrasts the dates used to mark the beginning of the atomic age: the bombing of Hiroshima in 1945, and the Geneva conference in 1955, where “for the first time scientists started talking openly . . ”55 The author then proceeds to lay out the hopes and dreams associated with nuclear energy: nuclearpowered locomotives, submarines, airplanes, and even space ships, peaceful nuclear explosions to reverse the flow of rivers and irrigate deserts, and of course all the benefits nuclear reactors and the isotopes produced therein will yield for science, medicine, industry, and agriculture.
This may reflect Ogonyok’s search of identity, and its specific role within the Soviet media system; it is not indicative of a complete absence of reports in other segments of Soviet media. The government daily newspapers Pravda and Izvestiia, for example, report on all important events in a reasonably timely fashion. 26 The period starting in the mid-1950s, after the launch of “The World’s First Nuclear Power Plant” in Obninsk in 1954, and the first Geneva Conference on Peaceful Uses of Atomic Energy in 1955, coincided with a fresh political wind: Stalin had died in 1953, 26 SONJA D.
Cherepanov, “Splitting the Atom,” Ogonyok 16, April 18, 1965, 30. 18. Hollander, Soviet Political Indoctrination, 22. 44 SONJA D. SCHMID 19. , 47. 20. Mickiewicz, Split Signals, 28. 21. Vertically, the Soviet media can be subdivided along functional lines, for example, into general, party, governmental, trade union, scientific, and industrial periodicals (Inkeles, Public Opinion in Soviet Russia, 149). 22.