Growing Pains: Russian Democracy and the Election of 1993

By Timothy J. Colton; Jerry F. Hough | Go to book overview

all of these papers, the average voter lacked the most comprehensive coverage of the campaign.


Notes
1
This chapter uses electoral bloc and reformers in place of party and democrats, respectively. I believe the latter pair to be misleading or misused in contemporary Russia.
2
I do not mean to imply that the newspapers worked as a collective, but that one had to read the entire collection of papers to get complete information on all electoral blocs.
3
Vestnik Moskovskogo Universiteta. Seriya 10. Zhumalistika, no. 1 ( 1994), pp. 10-23; and Vestnik Moskovskogo Universiteta. Seriya 10. Zhumalistika, no. 2 ( 1994), pp. 16-27. See also Svobodnaya mysl', no. 2-3 ( 1994), pp. 122-26; and Segodnya, January 2, 1994, p. 7.
4
Interview with Nikolai D. Bondaruk, deputy editor-in-chief, Izvestiya.
5
In fact, I have deliberately chosen figures that underestimate the increase. The average monthly salary during the campaign was probably closer to 50,000 rubles.
6
Calculating at rates of 10 rubles to the dollar in 1989, when Izvestiya still cost 2 kopeks (one-five hundredth of a dollar), and 1,000 rubles to the dollar in 1993, when it cost 90 rubles (roughly one-eleventh of a dollar).
7
Interview, Bondaruk.
8
Although these editors claim that about two-thirds of their circulation goes outside Moscow, this clashes with the overwhelming impression of the lack of availability of these papers in the provinces. Each editor predicted that within three to four years, the high cost of printing in multiple locations and of delivering across Russia's long distances will force their papers to abandon their national aspirations and focus on Moscow. One can expect a dynamic period of closings and mergers, with a small number of large papers replacing the large number of four- to six-page papers. Interviews with Bondaruk, Pravda editor-in-chief Viktor A. Linnik, and Valery P. Simonov, deputy editor-in-chief of Komsomol'skaya pravda.
9
Irreconcilable opposition was adopted by Segodnya, November 9, 1993.
10
Some may challenge including these in a study of national papers. They each reported circulation of 100,000, and even this may be inflated. But they are the best examples of the new, independent newspapers in the country, and the editors of the established papers all cite them as their primary competitors in the future. But the point that in 1993 they lacked a mass readership is well taken, and Segodnya is included primarily because I consider it the highest quality Russian-language newspaper available.
11
In many provincial cities, such as Vladivostok, Argumenty i fakty is the most widely read Moscow publication among those who read any Moscow newspaper.

-260-

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