The Media and Intra-Elite Communication in Poland: Case Studies of Controversy

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The Rand Corporation


Descriptions of six cases that are illustrative of discussion, debate, and controversy in Polish media: (1) the wide-ranging campaign during the March 1968 crisis, which was directly linked with internecine political struggle within the Polish United Workers' Party; (2) the Falkowska debate of 1964, when an esoteric discussion on the proper role of journalism expanded into a veiled critique of the Polish Communist system; (3) the differentiated treatment of the German question in Polish media in the late 1960s; (4) the 1971 debate on a draft social parasite law that had been presented to the Parliament for adoption; (5) a 1976 controversy over amendments to the Polish constitution; and (6) the media discussions of 1977 and 1978 concerning decentralization and unemployment, economic issues which masked criticism of the political system. These cases are not unique; each represents a phenomenon that has occurred on other occasions. This study is a portion of a broad study of Polish media, summarized in R-2627.