YUGOSLAVIA: Negative Phenomena

Until last winter the Communist press of Yugoslavia behaved and read like the Communist press anywhere. Then last spring, long after Marshal Tito's wrenching break with Moscow, a subtle change began to come over Belgrade's editorial rooms: Yugoslav newsmen swung like weathervanes from their Soviet-style polemics, began spinning reasonably honest stories for their startled readers. Recently U.N. and North Korean war communiques have run side by side in the capital's Communist papers. Strangest of all, criticism of Communist officials appeared in public print.

Boldest critic was a tall, husky, 35-year-old wartime partisan fighter named Branko Copic, a philosophy student turned...