State control of mass media and propaganda

How did Lenin view the press and the media?
Central to advancing the revolution and ensuring the communists retained power
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What was the effect of the Decree on the Press in November 1917?
Gave the government the emergency powers to close any newspapers which supported a counter-revolution.
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How did Lenin's new government control advertising?
they created a state monopoly of advertising in Nov 1917 which ensured that only the government could publish adverts.
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When did the new government nationalise the Petrograd Telegraph Agency and why did they do this?
They nationalised it in Nov 1917 which gave them control of electronic means of communication.
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How did Lenin's government try and censor the press?
By establishing a Revolutionary Tribunal of the Press with the power to censor the press; journalists and editors who committed 'crimes against the people' could be punished by the Cheka- fines and prison sentences.
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What was the role of the All-Russian Telegraph Agency?
it was solely responsible for distributing news.
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How many newspapers and printing presses had the Communists closed by 1921?
2000 newspapers and 575 printing presses.
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After initially only closing down papers that supported the Tsar or the provisional government, what kinds of newspapers did the communists go on to close down?
Opposition socialist papers as well
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How else was control of the press aided?
The economic controls introduced under war communism as they allowed the government to control all printing presses and stocks of paper
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Which paper gained a much higher circulation as a result of government policies controlling the press?
Pravda, the newspaper of the Communist party. By the early 1920s it was one of the bestselling publications in the Soviet Union.
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Which other newspaper was under communist control?
Izvestia, the official newspaper of the Soviets.
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Was the soviet regime initially totalitarian?
No, initially it was quite pluralistic and before 1928 there was a relatively high degree of debate and disagreement about how communist principles should be put into practise.
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What kind of propaganda was produced in the first years of the revolution and how did lenin respond?
Propaganda that reflected the pluralism of the early regime and lenin did not approve of all the images or approaches used by those working for the government.
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What was the early 'cult of Lenin like'?
Pictures of lenin were used to promote the government. Jan 1918 saw the publication of the first photo of Lenin. Following an assassination attempt in the same year, Lenin was described in religious terms as 'miraculous'. Christ-like
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How did the 'cult of Lenin' develop?
it flourished, in spite of Lenin's disapproval. During the civil war busts and statues of Lenin were produced and Lenin's photograph also appeared with various titles='Leader of the Revolutionary Proletariat'.
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How was Lenin depicted during 1919 and 1920?
As being a humane, man of the people, a man who refused luxury, a visionary and a man of great power. Also the cap made him look more approachable and down to earth.
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What was the importance of the 'cult of lenin'?
it gave the communist party a face, someone the Russian people could identify with and support
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What was Lenin's opinion of his own cult of personality?
He was uncomfortable with it but understood its importance and thus he allowed the cult to grow.
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How were cartoons and photomontage used to promote communism?
The gov. collaborated with avant-garde artists to produce posers promoting the revolution. Gustav Klutsis used photomontage to create posters advertising lenin's electrification plan.
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Who was Felix Dzerzhinsky and what did he introduce in 1922?
He was the leader of the soviet political police force and he introduced Glavlit- new organisation which oversaw a more systematic censorship regime.
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On which principles did Glavlit's censorship work?
The GPU was put in charge of policing every publication available in the soviet union, new professional censors were employed, all books investigated for anti-communist bias, the GPU compiled a list of banned books.
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What happened to the banned books?
Soviet libraries were purged of these books, special holding libraries 'book gulags' were set up to house them and access was restricted to senior party members.
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Who's works had to be purged in the 1930's as the result of Stalin's leadership struggle?
Zinoviev, Kamenev, Trotsky and other leading revolutionaries from the 1920s
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How were publications re-written to strengthen Stalin's position?
Lenin's works 'edited' to remove complimentary statements about stalin's rivals, stalin's own work edited to remove indications that he was once close to those he'd purged. Soviet history rewritten to emphasise stalin's position in the revolution
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From 1928, what was Glavlit put in control of?
Access to economic data.
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How and why was 'bad news' censored under Stalin?
The soviet media were forbidden from publishing stories about natural disasters, suicides, industrial accidents or even bad weather. Stalin was given credit for all the regime's achievements. USSR=the good place
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What did propaganda of the era focus in on and why?
The leader- the cult of stalin turned him into a semi-divine figure, who's unique vision and wisdom would lead the nation to socialism. Also focused on workers as heroes that embodied the society that Stalin was trying to build
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How did popular, consumer magazines change the Soviet media in the 1950s and 60s?
Magazines published readers' letters which often exposed long-term problems with soviet society e.g. quality of consumer goods. In women's magazines they complained of male alcoholism, domestic violence and inequality
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How did the government respond to the letters sent in to consumer magazines?
Khrushchev's media responded with its own campaign against worthless men, focusing on male hypocrisy and lack of devotion to communism- cartoons in satirical magazines poked fun who arrived drunk to parades, for example.
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How did soviet cinema change under Khrushchev?
Changed as part of a broader cultural thaw/liberalisation. Many films of this era focused on traditional themes e.g WW2 but they focused on the role of ordinary people, rather than Stalin as they had done before.
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What are some examples of films that focused on the role played by ordinary people in the soviet union?
The Forty-First (1956), The Cranes are Flying (1957), Ballad of a Soldier (1959)
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What role did TV play in Khrushchev's media?
Celebrated the USSR's triumphs in the space race e.g 1961 Yuri Gagarin's space flight. 1961 Estafeta Novosteo was broadcast as the USSRs first TV news show which featured model workers on farms to boost productivity
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How did film and TV change under Brezhnev?
There were traditional elements such as films celebrating Soviet victory in WW2. However during the same period there were more films dealing with working people and their daily lives. Focused on fashionable citizens living in luxury apartments
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How was Brezhnev's use of TV successful?
The Soviet Government was able to keep tight control of footage of the war in Afghanistan and thus could keep the horrors of the war quiet. Also ensured that Brezhnev's speeches were transmitted in full, giving him extensive domestic media coverage
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Why did the extensive media coverage backfire in 1970s?
Cameras captured Brezhnev's physical and mental decline. He struggled to make speeches, became confused mid-sentence and had difficulty walking. Tv voice overs praised him but viewers could see Brezhnev's decline for themselves.
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What happened to the print media under Brezhnev?
Soviet leaders lost control of it. The KGB continued to police political publications but western magazines became increasingly available as part of the second economy. Magazines like Vogue undermined faith in the Soviet system- luxury of west
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Other cards in this set

Card 2


What was the effect of the Decree on the Press in November 1917?


Gave the government the emergency powers to close any newspapers which supported a counter-revolution.

Card 3


How did Lenin's new government control advertising?


Preview of the front of card 3

Card 4


When did the new government nationalise the Petrograd Telegraph Agency and why did they do this?


Preview of the front of card 4

Card 5


How did Lenin's government try and censor the press?


Preview of the front of card 5
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