PRAVDA: Inside the Soviet News Machine by Angus Roxburgh

PRAVDA: Inside the Soviet News Machine

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A split package--part-history of the official Soviet newspaper and part-sampling of Pravada's coverage--by Roxburgh, who writes on Soviet affairs for the BBC External Services. An old Russian popular saying has it that ""Pravda (truth) doesn't have Isvestya (News) and Isvestya doesn't have Pravda."" In this history-cum-anthology, Roxburgh presents a short description of the evolution of Pravda from outlaw status in pre-revolutionary Russia to being the main organ of information in the Soviet Union. We learn that deception is nothing new to Pravda's offices--both its publisher and editor from May, 1913, were members of the tsarist secret police. And thanks to this history, we can be assured that Nikolai Bukharin was indeed editor for some 11 years--though his name appears in no Soviet reference books and no portrait of him hangs in the paper's museum. But today the question is, does glasnost trickle down to the press in Gorbachev's Russia? Based upon the extracts printed here, covering areas as diverse as problems in the workplace, drunkenness, Chernobyl, the space shuttle, social services, and, yes, even government corruption, the question is at least open--a hopeful sign. A unique insight for Western eyes into the Soviet news system.

Pub Date: Aug. 10th, 1987
Publisher: Braziller