Page 3, 29th January 1937

29th January 1937
Page 3
Page 3, 29th January 1937 — THE TRUTH ABOUT SOVIET NEWSPAPER CIRCULATION
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THE TRUTH ABOUT SOVIET NEWSPAPER CIRCULATION

Freely Distributed and Unread

From Our Russian Correspondent

One of the means to impress foreign visitors by the growth of Soviet " culture," besides the figures of the decrease of illiteracy, are the growing figures of the circulation of Soviet periodicals. Whilst a limited number of papers was published in pre-war Russia, it is pointed out that in 1934 13,103 periodicals were published in the Union. • Of these 54 are called "central" and only 12 have the special privilege of being "organs of political direction." The daily issue of all periodicals was, in 1934-36 million copies, in 1936-39 million. Pravda's issue is 17 million copies, Isvestia's-16 million. There are 463 technical publications, 263 agricultural, 167 dealing with questions of economics, 145 with medicine, 164 with education.

The Soviet periodical Bolshevik Press explains that from 60 to 75 per cent. of all the issued periodicals are subscribed by Government and municipal offices, industrial concerns, co-operatives, collective farms, and so on, for free distribution to the workers. Thus the Stalin automobile factory in Moscow spends 100,000 roubles for subscriptions, and many officials and workmen receive as many as 8 or 10 periodicals, which they never read. The organisation Soyuz-press has the monopoly of the distribution of periodicals, and its

local agents compel the provincial Soviet, co-operatives and other bodies to subscribe to papers and magazines in which they have not the slightest interest. Individual subscriptions scarcely exist at all, and private subscribers receive their papers inaccurately. In the whole of the U.S.S.R. there are only 3,500 newspaper stalls.

Russia Goes Hungry

From Our Russian Correspondent

Bread queues are growing even in Moscow, in the provinces things are worse, and scarcity of bread now, only a few months after the harvest, spells disaster later in the year. It is no secret now that owing to the drought, and even more to the bad work of the harvesting brigades and tractor stations, the harvest of 1936 was very poor (the Catholic Herald had reported it as early as August 7, 1936). There is a terrible shortage of footwear, clothes and drugs. The dire results of compulsory collectivisation and intensive industrialisation are well known : the underfed, harassed people are kept in subjection by the terrorist methods of the G.P.U.




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