Soviet Union Information Bureau
NEWSPAPERS AND BOOKS
NEWSPAPER circulation in the Soviet Union has grown with the growth of
literacy. Before the war the combined circulation of the newspapers was
2,500,000 and in the spring of 1928 it was 8,250,000. There were fewer
newspapers in 1928 than in 1913, but individual circulations were much larger.
Magazines, which had but a slight circulation before the Revolution, now have a
circulation even greater than the newspapers.
|1928 (April 1)
Of the newspaper circulation in 1928 over 5,000,000 represented daily
newspapers. Of this about one-fifth was represented by the circulation of the
two principal dailies, Izvestia and Pravda, both published in Moscow. In August,
1928, the daily circulation of Izvestia averaged 432,325 copies and of Pravda
The distribution of the newspapers among the six Constituent Republics in
1927 was as follows:
|Uzbek and Turkoman
At the present time newspapers, magazines and books are being published in 49
languages, in 27 of which there was no publication prior to the war. There were
206 newspapers with a circulation of 831,753 published in non-Russian languages
in 1927, as well as 130 magazines. The non-Russian nationalities had 34 book
publishing houses. Between 1919 and 1925 a total of 5,430 books were published
in the Ukrainian language, more than had been published in the previous 120
Before the war there were only four peasant papers with a negligible
circulation. To-day there are over 200 with a total circulation of nearly
2,000,000. Of these 9 with a circulation of 435,670 are printed in languages
other than Russian. On the average one farm out of ten subscribes to a
The worker and peasant newspaper correspondents constitute an enormous army.
There were 192,889 peasant correspondents in 1927, and 115,607 worker
correspondents, a total of 335,448, as compared with 216,000 in 1925.
The peasant periodicals have done much, by a ceaseless warfare against
inefficiency in village Soviets, to improve the character of local
administrations. Chief among these periodicals is the weekly Peasant Gazette
(Krestyanskaya Gazeta) with a circulation of well over a million, with upwards
of 6,000 village correspondents. This paper receives close to a million letters
annually from peasant subscribers.
BOOKS.- There are some 2,000
organizations in the Soviet Union engaged in the publication of books, but these
include not more than 100 with any considerable output, and of these 30 central
publishing houses produce 80 per cent of the entire output of books. Of these
the State Publishing House (Gosizdat) of the R.S.F.S.R. is by far the most
important, publishing half the number of copies issued in the Soviet Union and
furnishing half the total book trade turnover. Private publishing houses in 1927
furnished less than 25 per cent of the total number of titles and only 6 per
cent of the number of copies. They are declining both in number and output.
The total book production amounts to from $50,000,000 to $60,000,000
annually, at cost price.
The State Publishing House originated in 1919 as a departmental publishing
office of the People's Commissariat of Education. With the inauguration of the
new economic policy it was placed on an independent and nominally profit-making
basis. It issues from 3,250 to 3,750 titles annually.
Statistics of book publishing in U.S.S.R.:
Titles of books published in 1926 were divided under the following
|Sociology and Economics
|Belles Lettres and Art
The term "propaganda," as used in the Soviet Union, has a much broader
connotation than that commonly applied in the United States. The hooks so listed
include the huge literature on such diverse subjects of popular instruction as
personal hygiene, cam of children, home economics, diet, temperance, exercise,
mental improvement, personal efficiency, etc.