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After the 1917th revolution, the Soviet Union was restructured with new political system based on the Marxist-Leninist principles. The newly formed communist party by Lenin shows much interest in the media which serves to the working class in the country and their welfares.  So the Soviet originates a theory from Marxist, Leninist and Stalinist thoughts, with mixture of Georg Wilhelm Friedrich Hegel ideology  is called “Soviet Media Theory” is also known as “The Communist Media Theory”. The same theory was developed and followed by Adolf Hitler’s Nazi in Germany and Benito Mussolini in Italy.

Soviet Media Theory:

soviet media theory

Source: niyazz/Adobe Stock

Soviet media theory is imitative of Leninist principles which based on the Carl Marx and Engel’s ideology. The government undertake or controls the total media and communication to serve working classes and their interest.  Theory says the state have absolute power to control any media for the benefits of people. They put end to the private ownership of the press and other media. The government media provide positive thoughts to create a strong socialized society as well as providing information, education, entertainment, motivation and mobilization.  The theory describe the whole purpose of the mass media is to educate the greater masses of working class or workers. Here, the public was encouraged to give feedback which would able to create interests towards the media.

According to authoritarian theory, the media controlled and censored by the ministries in the country but libertarian is fully free without any intervention of any authority or government, Social responsibility theory – press freedom in one hand but other hand they controlled the press by raising question and Soviet media theory, the whole control of the media is under the leader of the nation.

Critics of  Soviet Media Theory:

  1. Soviet media theory looks similar like authoritarian theory but the core part is different from each other. In authoritarian theory is a one way communication, there is no feedback allowed from the public but in Soviet media theory is a two way communication at the same time the whole media is controlled or works under the leadership.
  2. Private ownership is not allowed which leads the press without any restriction and it can serve people without any authoritative blockades.
  3. Soviet media theory allows some restriction based on the nation interest rather than personal.
  4. Under communist theories like soviet media theory, the journalist or press should support the leadership rather than a watchdog.
  5. If the leadership is wrong the whole nation will suffer a lot.
{ 45 comments… add one }
  • DENNIS JUMA November 5, 2012, 3:54 pm

    it is an authoritarian type of theory

  • Tebatjo May 17, 2013, 4:52 pm

    Soviet communist theory is a better system for a country becuase it serves the people.All people enjoy equality in media , they are allowed to participate and share their thoughts , in other ways communication is not a linear form but cyclical.

  • marija May 22, 2013, 2:35 pm

    thanks for this informative text πŸ™‚

  • NEEMA October 23, 2013, 2:54 am

    It is good theory especially in developing countries .

  • DJ Valentino. fresh 9ja boy February 16, 2014, 8:24 am

    Nice one! Buh I fink Social responsibility still remains d best.

  • Bright March 3, 2014, 7:03 am

    Wow! I enjoyed this explanation. But I don’t think is d best in this modern time. The press should enjoy maximum freedom for the good benefit of the public.

  • Debalin Roy June 6, 2014, 12:57 am

    Here it is mentioned that this theory was followed by Hitler and Mussolini in their terms but it is a factual error.
    They practiced the authoritarian theory, which is far from the communist theory which was aimed at the development of the working class and citizens in general. This theory also guaranteed freedom of speech as long as it did not border on capitalist or fascist tones. Whereas, Hitler and Mussolini simply used the media to dominate and strangle the mass. The media had no voice of its own, it only propagated the authority’s views.

    Sources, John C. Nerone, Theodore Peterson, Fred Siebert.

  • abrar January 16, 2015, 11:32 pm

    its a good theory only for countries those have majority of well educated people s

  • George Gindeh Kiawu May 29, 2016, 12:51 am

    I wouldn’t say that any one theory is better than the other. I think that the use of a theory in any society should fit what obtains in that society. all these theories, where ever they operate, they are guided by principles. It is just but ethical for practitioners to follow the laid down norms.

  • Gifted June 6, 2016, 3:08 am

    The social responsibility theory is still the best…the press are given freedom but they still act with an atom of responsibility to the state.

  • Biira hellen October 20, 2016, 7:21 pm

    please hep me, is social responsibility concerned with the society developmet also?

  • majestic January 4, 2017, 11:50 pm

    Soviet media theory is more suitable for developing countries although most of those countries are not have strong democracy,it most fit in proving transparance and accountability to the citizen

  • Suhail Ahemmed Gazzali January 22, 2017, 5:55 pm

    thanks for the info

  • Tariq Aziz January 24, 2017, 11:39 pm

    Its good for…

  • ismail shakir February 5, 2017, 4:12 am

    social responsibility theory is good

  • Ikono March 18, 2017, 6:45 am

    When absolute ownership of the Press is vested in the hand of government, there will be tendency for that country to blindfold the citizen. So, social responsibility media theory is preferable to soviet media theory because the private media can bring out the buried misconduct of the government for correction.

  • afzal April 16, 2017, 3:49 am

    thanks for sharing information .i really enjoyed your article

  • Vico July 11, 2017, 6:18 am

    This is the best πŸ™‚

  • nelson October 4, 2017, 1:15 am

    can i have clear differences between soviet communist theory and authoritarian theory

  • Kelvin Appiah October 5, 2017, 11:30 pm

    What is the core difference between the authoritarian theory and the soviet/communist theory

  • Sai Datta November 23, 2017, 6:46 pm

    Hey Nelson & Kelvin,

    In the authoritarian theory the press is in complete hands of the govt.It just works for the govt to propagate their policies.The press in authoritarian does not work for the benefit of the people.It ONLY works as a mouth piece of the govt.For example the press in North Korea which basically shows only what the govt want the people to see.It has minimal or no public interest in mind.Whatever the press or media portrays, the public should receive it with no other option.Basically it’s a totally closed system.

    The press in Soviet media theory is controlled by the state HOWEVER the press works in interest of the public.The press communicates what is best for development.The press is used as a medium to encourage and educate the working class.And moreover the public CAN respond with their feedback to the govt in case they find something offensive.

    A similar aspect b/w Authoritarian theory and Soviet theory is that the press cannot act against the govt or it’s policies.

    However again, these are just theories and so in reality Authoritarian and Soviet theories COULD BE overwhelmingly similar.

  • kondwani February 22, 2018, 11:47 am

    what was the main difference between Soviet theory and authoritarian theory?

  • clarence June 26, 2018, 1:38 pm

    TY.. πŸ˜€

  • tafadzwa mwanengureni June 28, 2018, 2:59 pm

    its not good for a country with different political parties

  • Swetha July 5, 2018, 7:27 am

    Good…any other countries for this theory?

  • Boateng Ebenezer September 27, 2018, 1:18 am

    What theory opposes this theory?

  • tarisai October 8, 2018, 1:03 pm

    i just think the press should have the freedom to private ownership and the citizen cannot be blindfolded

  • Kato David October 10, 2018, 5:06 am

    Thanks, for you have explained theory thoroughly well and don’t have any other questions on the theory

  • fawad khan October 14, 2018, 12:47 am

    A similar aspect b/w Authoritarian theory and Soviet theory is that the press cannot act against the govt or it’s policies.
    and thanks ….

  • Mukudzeyi November 5, 2018, 1:53 am

    These do not apply to Zimbabwe though we are there to suffer……

  • Oheneba Nyarko December 18, 2018, 3:15 pm

    though we are in the era of MacQuail’s phase 4 communication theory, the media is still not independent in the world not only in Ghana my motherland also in America

  • Gloria April 30, 2019, 8:38 am

    What is the similarities between authoritarian and communist theory of the press

  • Bright May 31, 2019, 4:20 pm

    The soviet Media Theory, is an outdated practice which can not be contextualized to any system of government in this present dispensation of globalization and development. Good with explanatory features, but in operation can purely deprived the poor masses any right to expression as there wont be any media to hear them. the Theory in this era of media proliferation, can not survive as it will be drastically rejected by people.

  • Khaled Alyami December 31, 2019, 3:26 am

    Thanks for sharing…

  • Prince Oheneba Nana Quansah February 14, 2020, 8:27 pm

    This is truly an outmoded practice.
    no country should support because it will collapse the media and houses

  • Kiki December 14, 2020, 4:11 am

    Well!has for me,Soviet media theory is notting but an advance authoritarian theory.which restrict the freedom of the press to reveal the truth.

  • Mohamed Sahr April 24, 2021, 9:09 pm

    Quite educative.

  • Ella Austin June 22, 2021, 9:40 pm

    What are the Similarities between the sovet communist theory and the social responsibility theory

  • Shirleen Juma December 13, 2021, 12:16 pm

    I am interested with this theory as as a business girl, these is the best theory ever.ke up

  • Mehrukh Zahid February 3, 2022, 9:39 pm

    I think one should introduce a new theory by mixing all normative theories in which ownership of all kind of public & private media and communication should be given to a group with certain laws and principles and the group should be under the control of government to restrict unimportant and censored content to avoid negativity and fear from the nation with feedback and ability to supervise.

  • Naomi February 10, 2022, 1:45 am

    This is the worst theory of all

    Because other theories get to expose the government while this doesn’t… there’s no point of press if it doesn’t have freedom

  • Olawunmi March 26, 2022, 12:44 pm

    This was very helpful!

  • Maya kibe June 2, 2022, 1:11 am

    please help me,
    How did the battle between the Soviet and West ,impact free-flow of communication among developing countries?

  • Rem April 12, 2023, 6:49 am

    What are the advantage and disadvantage of Soviet Media Theory.

  • oO. Machunda December 17, 2023, 6:40 pm

    Your analysis is short, clear and helpful for academic consumption…. Thank you.

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