AFTER HALF A CENTURY UNDER THE thumb of socialism, Macedonia's media began to flourish in the wake of the "political spring" of the late 1980s. Journalists began to cover taboo issues, deepening the chasm between progressive and conservative forces in the communist leadership. In Mlad Borec magazine, several young, talented journalists attacked the cult of personality surrounding shadow pro-Serb leader Lazar Kolisevski and his nomenklatura, who ruled the country for more than 40 years. Other publications, such as Komunist, the newspaper of the League of Communists of Macedonia that later became Magazine 21, and the dailies Nova Makedonija and Vecer began covering and promoting public discussion of the country's dilemmas: market vs. socialist economic systems and the issues of human rights and minority rights. Also addressed was the republic's status in the former Yugoslavia: whether to remain in the federation, pursue confederation status, or become an independent state.

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