Studies in the Relations between Politics and Culture in Polish History
Edited By Jacek Soszyński and Agnieszka Chamera-Nowak
Polish Government Administration and the Professional Press Dedicated to the Book Market, 1989–2000
This article will discuss the development of the Polish professional journals dedicated to the book market1 during the last decade of the twentieth century—times when the Polish economy and the political system, indeed the society as a whole, underwent fundamental changes, known as the transformation. During this period, the professional press underwent profound changes too, and the role played in these changes by the government administration was by no means negligible. In the communist era, the role of the authorities in the functioning of the professional press—just as in the book market in general—seemed obvious: the state organized and managed nearly all aspects of the publishing process, as well as wholesale and retail book circulation. Within the centrally run system, the decision makers reserved some space for the activities of the book market press. The 1989 watershed brought about changes, which can justly be called revolutionary—a cliché that implies that the new state left the book market to its own, and to the governance of the freed economic forces of supply and demand. The situation of the professional press is usually treated in the same way. However, it is worth noticing that a number of important positive decisions by governmental agencies, as well as negative ones (intentional resistance in addition to refusals to appeals from below) did influence the functioning of the book market and the professional periodicals. With the end of the transitional period, the role of the state in the functioning of...
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