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The following article is from The Great Soviet Encyclopedia (1979). It might be outdated or ideologically biased.



a daily newspaper for the peasants; organ of the Central Committee of the All-Union Communist Party (Bolshevik); published in Moscow from Mar. 27, 1918, to Jan. 31, 1931. Bednota’s predecessors were the newspapers Derevenskaia Bednota, Soldatskaia Pravda in Petrograd, and Derevenskaia Pravda in Moscow, which were published during the period of preparation and carrying out of the October Socialist Revolution. The editorial board was headed by V. A. Karpinskii (from 1918 to 1922, with interruptions), L. S. Sosnovskii (from 1921), Ia. A. Iakovlev (from 1924), M. S. Grandov (from 1928), and E. P. Atakov (from 1929). M. I. Kalinin wrote for Bednota, and M. S. Ol’minskii, Em. Iaroslavskii, D. Bednyi, and others were active contributors.

During the Civil War period, Bednota mobilized the toilers in the countryside for the armed struggle against the White Guards and the interventionists and for support at the front. During this time Bednota was also a Red Army newspaper—half of its circulation (at the end of 1919 its circulation was 750,000 copies) was distributed in the army. The newspaper played a significant role in the struggle for the realization of Communist Party policies in the countryside. The peasants took an active part in the newspaper; their letters and reports were constantly printed in Bednota. The editors of Bednota prepared surveys of the peasants’ letters for V. I. Lenin under the name of The Barometer of Poverty. Hailing the newspaper, Lenin wrote in 1922: “The newspaper has labored honorably and successfully in order to serve the interests of the toiling peasantry” (Poln. sobr. soch., 5th ed., vol. 45, p. 58).

Bednota paid a great deal of attention to work with rural correspondents; it organized meetings and seminars and gathered around itself approximately 4,000 active rural correspondents. Bednota directed its efforts at education of the peasant masses, propaganda on the advantages of large-scale collectivized agriculture, and elucidation of problems related to raising the level of village culture. During the period of industrialization of the country and collectivization of agriculture, Bednota mobilized the toiling peasantry for the implementation of party and Soviet government measures and the struggle against the kulaks for the socialist reconstruction of the countryside.

Bednota’s agricultural laboratory—the section of the newspaper devoted to the study and dissemination of advanced agricultural methods—was a great success among the peasants. In 1928 the laboratory had approximately 12,000 correspondents. In 1930, Bednota had 150,000 subscribers. On Feb. 1, 1931, Bednota merged with the newspaper Sotsialisticheskoe zemledelie.


The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.
References in periodicals archive ?
(59) This pattern was vividly illustrated by a cartoon in Bednota, the party newspaper for peasant activists: Under the headline 'Each in His Own Way', the capitalist world is depicted bound by the chains of the League of Nations in Paris and weighted down with a sack of money inside which, the social-democrats of Bern hold their discussions within capital's firm grip, in the most literal way possible.
In mid-1921, party publicist Viacheslav Karpinski i published a detailed editorial in Bednota that was specifically written to convince peasants of the Comintern's importance.
(64.) See, for example, 'Kommunisticheskii Internatsional--krasnyi soiuz trudiashchikhsia dlia sverzheniia vlasti burzhuev, in Bednota, 17 June 1921.
(67.) For the Fourth World Congress, see, for example, Bednota, 7, 8, 10, 12, 15, 16 November and 8 December 1922.
Karpinskii, 'Pochemu nam blizok i dorog Kommunisticheskii Internatsional?', in Bednota, 24 June 1921.
143, excerpts from the newspaper Donskaia bednota (10 March); Biulleten' KID, 9 January 1922 (reprint from Golos Rossii entitled "V stane kontrrevoliutsii").
The journalistic initial effort came with the Central Committee's creation of Bednota ("The Poor"), whose first issue emerged on March 27, 1918.
(8) Unable to actually penetrate the village--the total press run for Bednota in April 1923 was only 149,000 copies--the party thus determined to create local peasant journalistic/political agen ts writing letters and brief articles who would establish the necessary contact with the villages and set the boundaries of discourse.