Dzilas and the Yugoslav Press

Dzilas and the Yugoslav Press

The publication of Djilas’s book, on August 11, 1957, was greeted by the international press with comments generally favorable to his views. None of these comments was, of course, printed in the Yugoslav press; but there is in that country a publication entitled the Tan jug Bulletin, which circulates among the leaders of the system and presents translations of the most important foreign articles and communiques. This bulletin serves as a barometer to show how Titoism stands with the international press. And from the beginning of August onwards, it was packed with information about Djilas’s book.

In the course of a single week three anti-Djilas articles were published at Belgrade—the sign that a fresh campaign had been launched against the former communist leader. Then came a sudden silence: not only did the Belgrade papers drop the Djilas affair completely, but the provincial papers had not even time to open the campaign they were planing.

The explanation is simple: the three articles had a boomerang effect, especialy the one published on August 11 by Borba, the central journal of the Yugoslav Communist party. That issue of the paper was sold out by 10 a.m., and in some provincial towns people lined up at the newspaper stalls to get hold of a copy. But though Borba is automatically distributed to all the organizations of the Yugoslav CP and to every member of the party, everyone knows that not even the party members read it. As for sales, they...

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