The Eastern European region is very interesting with regards to the media systems of its nations. Eastern Europe is unique in that it differs greatly from its western counterpart with regards to the historical context that brought it to where it is today. Therefore, when examining its media, history is very important to understanding it.
The majority of Eastern Europe was formerly part of the massive state of the Soviet Union. The Soviet Union consisted of what we consider today to be the majority of the Eastern European region, the area we know as Russia being the leadership of the state. The Soviet Union had a very harsh way of governing its people, and clashed with western ideology during its time as a state. However, the Soviet Union collapsed in the early 1990s, leaving a multitude of nations in the area with independence.
While many of the surrounding nations have developed relatively free media systems, reflective of western media, Russia has still managed to somewhat hold on to its soviet past. There is a clear sense of nostalgia for the soviet era in popular Russian media. With regards to media freedom, it experienced some freedom in the late 1990s and early 2000s. However, under the current regime of Vladimir Putin, media is fairly restricted.
Evidently, the media of Eastern Europe is heavily influenced by the historical context of the region. The former Soviet Union continues to shape regimes in the area, and therefore shapes media systems. Popular media, while more western in some nations, reflects a soviet nostalgia of sorts in others. Eastern European media is more free then it ever was prior to the late 1990s, however, it still has a ways to go to becoming a prime example of free media.