(Russian, mnogotirazhnaia pechat’ literally, “multicopy press”), publications of the Soviet press issued in production and educational collectives, such as enterprises, kolkhozes, and higher educational institutions, whose work they essentially describe. The house-organ press reflects the truly democratic nature of the Soviet press and its close link with the people.
The working people’s active participation in issuing thousands of wall newspapers in work collectives led to the appearance of the first printed factory newspapers between 1922 and 1925. These factory newspapers were called mnogotirazhnaia pechat’ because multiple copies were made from wall newspapers with hectographs. Among the first printed factory publications were Nasha gazeta (now Martenovka, Serp i Molot Plant, Moscow), Pogonialka (now Znamia, Trekhgornaia Factory, Moscow), Svetoch (Svetoch Plant, Leningrad), and Gaika (Profintern Plant, Bezhetsk). By early 1928 there were about 200 printed newspapers published by labor collectives. They played an important role in rebuilding the country’s industry, in combating production shortcomings and vestiges of the past in the workers’ consciousness, and in eradicating illiteracy. M. Gorky regarded this new development as “one of the great achievements of the working class on its way to a new culture” (On the Press, 1962, p. 241).
During the first five-year plan the house-organ press assumed a mass character, and in 1933 there were 2,734 factory newspapers. Many of the publications were newspapers of the new construction projects of the five-year plan, including Daesh’ traktor! (Stalingrad Tractor Plant), awarded the Order of Lenin in 1932, Dneprostroi (Dnieper Hydroelectric Power Plant), and Avtogigant (Gorky Automotive Plant). A resolution issued by the party Central Committee on Aug. 19, 1932, entitled “On the Factory Press” emphasized that the task of the newspapers was to describe the many-faceted activity of the enterprise and to help organize the collective’s political life and production. The resolution also stressed that most of the contributors should be workers.
In the 1930’s the house-organ press contributed to the dissemination of advanced work techniques and to the development of the Stakhanovite movement. The newspapers popularized Soviet literary and art works and sponsored the creation of literary groups. A number of Soviet writers began their careers writing for house organs. In addition to factories, the largest kolkhozes and sovkhozes, transportation enterprises, higher educational institutions, and production and artists’ associations also began issuing house organs.
In 1972 there were 3,852 house organs, of which 955 were published on kolkhozes, with a total annual circulation of more than 424 million copies. Some appear as often as three to five times a week and others once a month. The most important house organs are those published by industrial enterprises.
Today, the house-organ press, as a means of social control and communication in the collective, helps implement the goals set by the party, describes all aspects of the enterprise’s work, helps supervise the work process, participates in stimulating socialist competition, and promotes civic activity among workers. The house-organ press plays an important role in creating the necessary social and psychological atmosphere in the collective and in developing communist attitudes toward work and norms of behavior. It passes on revolutionary, militant, and labor traditions. Workers’ participation in the publication of house organs is extensive, permanent, and organized, with volunteer editorial boards and departments and on-the-spot inspections by worker correspondents.
Publications similar to Soviet house organs also exist in other socialist countries.
REFERENCESlurov, Iu. Tvoia zavodskaia gazeta. Moscow, 1960.
Alekseeva, M. I. Gazeta v zerkale sotsiologicheskogo analiza. Leningrad, 1970.
G. S. VYCHUB