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Major Channels

Channels of communication were government-owned and government-operated; information and propaganda were woven together in news, educational material, and entertainment. The most important body directing the media was the Press Agitation and Propaganda Section (Agitprop) of the party Central Committee. Agitprop, in conjunction with the Council of Ministers, published Unen (Truth), established in 1920. It was the most widely read newspaper; in 1988 it had a circulation of 170,000 and was published six days a week. The weekly publication of the Unen newspaper organization was Shine Hodoo (New Countryside), aimed at the rural population. Unen also published eighteen issues annually of the popular satirical magazine, Toshuul (Woodpecker), which featured cartoons and light reading material. Namyin Amdral (Party Life), with a circulation of 28,000, has served since 1923 as the Central Committee's monthly ideological organ. Ediyn Dzasgiyn, Asuudal (Economic Questions), also published by the Central Committee, carried speeches and documents concerned with political and economic affairs and was published in eighteen issues annually. Another party periodical, Uhuulagch (Agitator), emphasized propaganda material and was published bimonthly, with a circulation of 34,000 in the late 1980s.

Communications media were directed by overlapping and interlocking government commissions and committees of the People's Great Hural, the Council of Ministers, and the Mongolian People's Revolutionary Party. The Presidium of the People's Great Hural published a quarterly journal, Ardyn Tor (People's Power), with a circulation of 11,000. The Ministry of Culture, together with the Union of Mongolian Writers, published a weekly periodical called Utga, Dzohiol Urlag (Literature and Art). The Ministry of Defense and the Ministry of Public Security jointly produced Ulaan Od (Red Star), a biweekly, and Ardyn Armi (People's Army), a quarterly magazine. The Mongolian Academy of Sciences and the Mongolian Society for the Dissemination of Knowledge published a bimonthly popular science magazine, Shinjleh Uhaan, Amidral (Science and Life). Finally, the Office of the Procurator of the Republic, the Supreme Court, and the Ministry of Justice collaborated in the publication of the quarterly journal Sotsialist Huul' Yos (Socialist Legality).

In 1987, a total of almost 130 million copies of 35 national newspapers and 38 periodicals were being published. In addition, there were nineteen provincial newspapers, mainly published biweekly by provincial party and government executive committees. The cities of Ulaanbaatar, Nalayh, Erdenet, and Darhan also had their own newspapers. The two major news agencies were Mongol Tsahilgaan Medeeniy Agentlag (MONTSAME - Mongolian Telegraph Agency) and Mongolpress. The latter published fortnightly news bulletins in Russian, English, and French. In 1987 each household reportedly received four to six publications. Another body, the Media Information Center, was established in February 1989, reportedly to expand the range of information available to the public by providing members of the press and the media with increased access to high party and government officials.

Various mass organizations also had publishing arms. The official organ of the Mongolian Revolutionary Youth League, Dzaluuchudyn Unen (Youth Truth), was published biweekly and carried league speeches and documents. Other youth journals included Dzalgamjlagch (Successor) and Dzaluu Uye (Young Generation). The Central Council of the Sukhe Bator Mongolian Pioneers Organization, together with the Youth League Central Committee, published 84 issues annually of Pioneriyn Unen (Pioneers' Truth) and was circulated to 175,000 subscribers.

The leading publications of the Central Council of the Mongolian Trade Unions was Hodolmor (Labor), published three times a week, and a bimonthly magazine entitled Mongolyn Uyldberchniy Eblel (Mongolian Trade Unions). The publishing organ of the Federation of Democratic Women was the quarterly magazine Mongolyn Emegteuchuud (Mongolian Women). The Union of Mongolian Writers published the bimonthly political and literary journal, Tsog (Spark). The Union of Mongolian Artists and the Ministry of Culture published a quarterly journal, Soyol, Urlag (Culture and Art). Another quarterly journal published by the union was Dursleh Urlag (Fine Arts).

Most titles of Mongolian publications were translations of the titles of counterpart Soviet publications, which served as models for format and content. A Russian-language newspaper, Novosty Mongolii (News of Mongolia) published 26,000 copies, three times weekly; a Chinese-language journal, Menggu Xiaoxi (News of Mongolia), was published weekly. Publications in other languages were scarce in 1989, although the situation was improving. In 1986 the Mongolia Express Agency for Publication Data was established to aid in the distribution of publications and bulletins published in several foreign languages.

Radio and television were available through Ulaanbaatar Radio and Mongoltelevidz, both of which were supervised by the State Committee for Information, Radio, and Television. In December 1988, a new radio and television center, built with Soviet aid, opened in Ulaanbaatar. It was estimated that in 1989 the center would increase the volume of broadcasting by 150 percent. Almost every family, including those residing in rural areas, had access to a radio receiver in 1989. In 1985 Mongolia had 382 broadcasting centers, providing radiobroadcasts to more than 90 percent of the population and television broadcasts to more than 60 percent. By 1987 radiobroadcasts were available eighteen hours daily through two programs, with broadcasts in Mongol, Kazakh Russian, English, French, and Chinese to sixty countries. A 1987 poll of listeners and viewers indicated that the primary sources of news information for this audience were: radio, 66 percent; the press, 21 percent; and television, 12 percent.

By 1988 an estimated 64 percent of families residing in Ulaanbaatar possessed television sets. National television broadcasts were available five times a week, or for 15,000 hours annually. Broadcasting also was available from Orbita, a Soviet satellite communications system that relays television broadcasts. Almost 60 percent of the Mongolian population viewed television by late 1987. Mongolian-originated television was available in Ulaanbaatar, Erdenet, and Darhan; in fifteen aymag centers; and in forty-eight towns and somon centers. The Orbita broadcasting was more limited.

The State Publishing House and the Mongolian Academy of Sciences supervised publishing. Each year they produced a prospectus of books to be published that year. The Sukhe Bator Publishing House produced 70 percent of Mongolia's printed matter, including 400 book titles. There also were publishing facilities in each aymag, and there were other publishing houses in Ulaanbaatar. Russian-language books always dominated the foreign category, but there also were prose and verse from France, the United States, and India, which offered a view of the noncommunist world. By 1985 Mongolia had 983 libraries housing more than 13 million volumes, most of which were located at the State Library in Ulaanbaatar.

Last Update: 2010-12-07