Mike Downey

Jump to content // Jump to navigation

The Self Managing Screen

The Self Managing Screen was a book written by Mike Downey published to coincide with a major retrospective of television fiction at the British Film Institute curated by Mike at the National Film Theatre on the subject of television fiction during the time of the Socialist Federal Republic of Jugoslavija.

From its early days, the development of Yugoslav television oscillated between attempts to develop a pan-Yugoslav media system, and the wish to preserve and foster the development of republican and provincial media systems. The push for decentralisation proved stronger, resulting in a federalised television system in which each republic had its own television production facilities and its own television channels. 

The book looks at how, due to the country’s peculiar geopolitical position, developed in the aftermath of the country’s expulsion from the Soviet bloc, Yugoslav television professionals enjoyed significantly more freedom than their colleagues in the Soviet bloc. The 1960s, in particular, were marked by political and economic reforms that sought to reduce the role of the communist elites and the state and to encourage popular participation in public affairs. Yugoslav media gained greater organisational and financial independence; they were allowed to elect their top management, and began to rely increasingly on advertising revenues rather than state funding.