The article presents, on the example of control over the Polish press by a special cell of the Central Committee of the Polish United Workers’ Party (Polish acronym: PZPR), mechanisms of some processes which occurred in the functioning of the central apparatus of the Party after the change of the First Secretary in December 1970, when Władysław Gomułka was replaced by Edward Gierek. The period between January and December 1971, that is up to the Sixth Convention of the PZPR, was a period of adaptation of the mass media to new conditions resulting from a partial “new opening”, proposed by Gierek in response to the December crisis. Actions of the Central Press Bureau of the Central Committee of the PZPR focused in the analysed period on an analysis of journalists’ moods and neglects of the “former period”, preparation of changes in the publication system (an increase of print run and edition size of some titles as an element of economic accounting of the Workers’ Publishing Cooperative RSW “Prasa”) and development of concepts for further functioning of the press with handing it over to the community of journalists (mainly to managements of individual editorial boards). The main element of the latter was a campaign launched before the Sixth Convention of the PZPR in order to introduce a “new style” to particular newspapers under guidelines of the Party’s press cell. A mobilisation of the press, accompanying this campaign, was in the early months of 1972 translated into a broad propaganda offensive to support the realisation of plans of the new Party’s leadership. The year of 1971 in the history of the Polish press (or more broadly: of the all media) seems to mark the beginning of processes characteristic of the decade of Edward Gierek’s rule, called “propaganda of success”. The focus on the operations of the Central Bureau of Press, that is the actual holder of the media in the Polish People’s Republic, makes it possible for us to look at this phenomenon from the perspective of the state authorities, their ends and visions of the mass media.
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