Pravda: Inside the Soviet News Machine

Angus Roxburgh, Author George Braziller $0 (285p) ISBN 978-0-8076-1186-9
Failing to straddle the chasm between a study of interest to specialists and a book for general readers, LondonGuardian journalist Roxburgh presents something of a hybrid that is unlikely to appeal to either audience even though there are edifying nuggets for both. The author seems to know his way around Pravda's Moscow office, explaining how editorial meetings are conducted, naming the departments that attend, clarifying the protocol that dictates coverage and placement of stories and other like background information about the publication of this daily, six-page newspaper (eight pages on Mondays), which has a circulation of some 10.4 million. The organ of the ruling Central Committee and ""obliged to carry out its perfectly defined line,'' Pravda sets the tone for all Soviet media and as such is crucial reading for world governments who must master the technique of probing between the lines in speculating about the significance of stories covered. Fully half the book translates articles from Pravda's pages (about Solidarity, Poland's ``political disease''; UN disarmament talks; Britain's antiwar movement; etc.) but even more intriguing are the ``letters to the editor'' written by average Russians, who are surprisingly outspoken in sounding off on all manner of problems. Photos. (August 10)
Reviewed on: 01/01/1987
Release date: 01/01/1987
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