The impact of geopolitical changes in the European postcommunist countries on the circulation of daily newspapers

Abstract
As a result of the events which took place in Central Europe in the years 1989-1990 a totally new geopolitical situation came into existence. It was directly caused by the dismantling of the communist bloc. There were several changes noticed on the press market: an increase of the number of different newspapers, evident diversification of politic a I objectives of the newspapers, setting up newspapers conveying almost entirely reliable information, releasing short-lived newspapers, closure or considerable reduction in circulation of the former communist parties' newspapers, consolidation of publishing houses and noticeable changes in newspapers' circulation. The objective of this paper is to analyse (present) the impact of the collapse of the communist regimes (systems) on the daily newspaper market size (circulation) in the first years of the political transformation in those countries. The geographical range covers almost all European post-communist countries, except Russia, Bosnia and Herzegowina and Moldavia. The time range refers to the years 1990-1996 when the communist bloc came into its phase of decay. The analysis made it possible to divide the post-communist countries into five groups. The first group is made up of the countries in which the newspaper circulation decreased. This group falls into two subgroups. One of them consists of countries with average and big circulation of newspapers in the analysed time range (Ukraine, Lithuania, Estonia, Hungary, Belarus) and the Czech Republic (as the country of a large press circulation). A separate second group includes Slovenia with its average reading habit contrasted with continuously growing press circulation. Another group consists of countries in which there was an immediate increase in newspapers' circulation after 1999 giving then way to its fall. This type includes countries with a high reading habit (Slovenia and Romania), as well as those of average reading habit (Latvia and Poland) and a very low reading habit (Albania). The fourth group of countries suffered the collapse of the press market directly after the tumbling of communism which then led to a revival of circulation. Such changes in the newspaper sales were typical of Bulgaria (high average circulation) and Croatia and Macedonia (very law average circulation). Yugoslavia makes up a separate group where the circulation of newspapers fluctuates and does not show any stable tendency. While the demographic situation, observance of freedom in general and freedom of the press in particular are related to standards of living and the pace of reforms, there is no tangible relationship between the above mentioned aspects and reading habits concerning daily newspapers.
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Citation
Michalski T., 2003, The impact of geopolitical changes in the European postcommunist countries on the circulation of daily newspapers, [in:] The Contribution of Mass Media to the Enlargement of the European Union, International Institute of Administrative Sciences, p. 309-316
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