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Post 23 Feb 2013, 13:42
How was the mass media in USSR?

The newspapers and magazines were free (if no, how much it was)? And, there were specialized newspapers (like sports newspaper, arts newspaper, etc.)?

What was the sections of a generalist newspaper and magazine?

How much radios and TVs stations existed? There were specialized channels (like CNN or Discovery Channel) or only generalist channels (like CBS)?

The soviet authorities signed columns in newspapers and magazines, or were hosts of a TV or radio program? How soviet authorities talk to soviet people?
Post 23 Feb 2013, 14:56
Mass media was completely state controlled, although that does not mean that it was strictly 'totalitarian', i.e. that there were not competing interest groups, lack of creative freedoms, or lack of criticisms aimed toward various individuals and groups.

Newspapers were 2-5 kopeks, rising in price for special reports such as Party Plenums. Specialized newspapers and journals were commonplace, and existed for virtually every conceivable professional group, along with certain social groups.

There were only a few national tv channels, plus a series of regional and local channels, and they operated in the style of PBS (radio operated in a similar central + regional way). The historical context of this system must always be remembered, and I'm sure if the USSR was still around things like cable tv would have carried over by now. TV serials, cartoons, sports events, spectacles, news, documentaries of various sorts were regular fare. It's important to note that in the USSR movie theaters were of special social significance (there were several times more of them than in the US) and there movies, documentaries, etc. were shown, including the famous satirical short Fitil (Wick), shown before or after the feature, which commented in a humorous way about the daily problems of life. There were also documentaries created specifically for certain groups, such as military servicemen. All of this type of material can be found youtube today.

Soviet authorities made regular public announcements, which were picked up by newspapers, tv and radio stations, and commented on by respected social/political commentators. Brezhnev was the first among Soviet leaders to start the tradition of yearly congratulatory speeches every new years eve, and this tradition continued to the collapse of the country.

I made an essay about this subject some time ago, and although I focused mainly on how the media system changed in the late 1980s, there is a section at the beginning that discusses in more detail some of the questions you have (be sure to focus on the footnotes as well as the main message to get the most out of it):

http://www.soviet-empire.com/ussr/viewtopic.php?f=110&t=52073
Post 23 Feb 2013, 18:00
Honestly, this doesn't sound too different from the Danish media system until the mid 80's when more commercial TV started becoming a reality. Even in social democracy, I grew up with state television.

Thanks for posting.

edit: Newspapers and magazines were privately run in Denmark of course, though many had political party affiliations.
Post 23 Feb 2013, 18:44
Quote:
TV serials, cartoons, sports events, spectacles, news, documentaries of various sorts were regular fare. It's important to note that in the USSR movie theaters were of special social significance (there were several times more of them than in the US) and there movies, documentaries, etc. were shown, including the famous satirical short Fitil (Wick), shown before or after the feature, which commented in a humorous way about the daily problems of life. There were also documentaries created specifically for certain groups, such as military servicemen. All of this type of material can be found youtube today.


Would you be willing to post some URLs to prominent youtube videos in these genres?
Post 23 Feb 2013, 20:31
One day perhaps I'll formulate a list of examples and create a sticky topic for it in the appropriate section. The difficulty is creating a short list from among the literally thousands of works of all sorts devoted on the subject. The USSR was after all a Great Civilization in the cultural sense, and to prepare a list with appropriate examples from several decades of work is no simple task.
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