Pioneer Newspapers

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 It might be outdated or ideologically biased.

Pioneer Newspapers


in the USSR, mass sociopolitical publications for Pioneers and Little Octobrists issued by the Central Committee of the All-Union Komsomol and the Central Committees of the Komsomols of the Union republics, the oblast Komsomol committees, the Central Council of the Lenin All-Union Pioneer organization, and the republic and oblast councils of Pioneer organizations.

In the USSR the first newspapers for children’s associations and organizations were Detskaia pravda (1919, Saratov), Mura-vei-chudodei (1920, Perm’), and Nasha gazetka (1922, Tula). Their emphasis was primarily on education, whereas the newspaper Iunyi Spartak (1922, Kharkov) was political in character. After Pioneer organizations had been established in more than 20 cities in 1922, the following Pioneer newspapers appeared: Bud’ gotov (Perm’), Deti Oktiabria (Vladivostok), Za Il’ichem (Kazan), Kievskii pioner (Kiev) and Leninskie vnuchata (Rostov-on-Don, Vologda), Molodoi pioner (Tbilisi), Iunye stroiteli (Krasnoiarsk), Iunyi leninets (Yerevan), Iunyi pioner (Kursk, Smolensk), and Iunyi stroitel’ (Minsk). The newspapers Leninskie iskry (Leningrad, 1924) and Pionerskaia pravda (Moscow, 1925) were instrumental in determining the types of Pioneer newspapers and their sections, contributors, and relations with readers and correspondents.

By the end of 1925, 27 Pioneer newspapers were being published in Russian and the national languages of the USSR, with a total circulation of 165,000. From 1927 to 1939, Kolkhoznye rebiata (originally Gazetka druzhnykh rebiat) was published for rural children; in 1927 its circulation was 30,000, and in 1931, 1 million. In 1925, Pionerskaia zor’ka began broadcasting. The resolution On the Press (1924) adopted at the Thirteenth Congress of the RCP(B) and the decree of the Central Committee of the ACP(B) On Measures to Improve Youth and Children’s Press (1928) formulated the chief tasks of publications for children and youth. These were to educate the younger generation in a communist spirit and involve it in building socialism. Direct leadership of Pioneer newspapers was entrusted to the Central Committee of the All-Union Komsomol. Documents of the Central Committee of the All-Union Komsomol dealing with Pioneer newspapers and the children’s correspondence movement were On Pioneer Newspapers (1925), A Letter About Pioneer Newspapers (1925), On the Children’s Correspondence Movement (1925), On New Children’s Newspapers (1934), and On Children’s Newspapers (1935). These documents defined the work of the Pioneer newspapers’ editorial staffs and the structure of the newspapers’ sections.

Communist Party and Soviet state leaders who helped establish Pioneer newspapers included N. K. Krupskaia, M. I. Kalinin, F. E. Dzerzhinskii, A. V. Lunacharskii, S. M. Kirov, and G. M. Krzhizhanovskii. Popular-science articles for Pioneer newspapers were written by Em. Iaroslavskii, F. Ia. Kon, V. D. Bonch-Bruevich, and N. A. Semashko. Others contributing to Pioneer newspapers included M. Gorky, V. V. Mayakovsky, B. S. Zhitkov, V. V. Bianki, M. M. Prishvin, A. P. Gaidar, M. A. Svetlov, S. Ia. Marshak, and K. I. Chukovskii.

Pioneer newspapers have helped to strengthen and increase the ranks of the Pioneer organization and to involve Pioneers in socially useful activities. These include aiding schools to implement universal compulsory education as well as studying and preserving natural resources. The Pioneer newspapers also popularize the methods of advanced Pioneer brigades, help develop the Timur and Young Naturalist movements, mass defense, and children’s creative activities, and publicize progress in building socialism. They regularly publish materials for Little Octobrists. Camp Artek holds traditional All-Union convocations and assemblies of young Pioneer newspaper correspondents.

In 1974, 28 Pioneer newspapers were being published in 22 national languages of the USSR. These include the All-Union Pionerskaia pravda and the newspapers published in the RSFSR: Leninskie iskry (Leningrad, 1924), Bashkortostan pionere (Bashkir Pioneer; Ufa, 1930, in Bashkir), lam delii (Be Prepared; Ioshkar-Ola, 1933, in Mari), lash’ leninchy (Young Leninist; Kazan, 1924, in Tatar), Das’lu (Be Prepared; Izhevsk, 1930, in Udmurt), Pioner sassi (The Call of the Pioneer; Cheboksary, 1930, in Chuvash), and Belem buol (Be Prepared; Yakutsk, 1936, in Yakut). Published in the Ukrainian SSR were Zirka (Little Star; Kiev, 1925, in Ukrainian) and Iunyi leninets (Kiev, 1922); in the Byelorussian SSR, Piianer Belarusi (Pioneer of Byelorussia; Minsk, 1929, in Byelorussian) and Zor’ka (Minsk, 1945); in the Uzbek SSR, Lenin uchkuni (Leninist Spark; Tashkent, 1929, in Uzbek), Pioner Vostoka (Tashkent, 1927), and Zhetkin-shek (Shift; Nukus, 1932, in Kara-Kalpak).

Published in the Kazakh SSR were Kazakhstan pionerĭ (Pioneer of Kazakhstan; Alma-Ata, 1930, in Kazakh) and Druzhnye rebiata (Alam-Ata, 1933); in the Georgian SSR, Norchi lenineli (Young Leninist; Tbilisi, 1931, in Georgian); in the Azerbaijan SSR, Azerbaidzhan pioneri (Azerbaijan Pioneer; Baku, 1938, in Azerbaijani); in the Lithuanian SSR, Lietuvos pionerius (Pioneer of Lithuania; Vilnius, 1946, in Lithuanian); in the Moldavian SSR, Tynerul leninist (Young Leninist; Kishinev, 1941, in Moldavian) and Iunyi leninets (Kishinev, 1941); in the Latvian SSR, Pionieris (Pioneer; Riga, 1946, in Latvian); in the Kirghiz SSR, Kyrgyzstan pioneri (Pioneer of Kirghizia; Frunze, 1933, in Kirghiz); in the Tadzhik SSR, Pioneri Todchikiston (Pioneer of Tad-zhikistan; Dushanbe, 1929, in Tadzhik); in the Armenian SSR, Pioner kanch (Pioneer Call; Yerevan, 1925, in Armenian); in the Turkmen SSR, Mydam taiiar (Always Prepared; Ashkhabad, 1930, in Turkmen); and in the Estonian SSR, Säde (The Spark; Tallinn, since 1946, in Estonian). The combined circulation of Pioneer newspapers in 1974 exceeded 17 million, with publication once or twice a week.

Pioneer newspapers published by youth leagues and Pioneer organizations in other socialist countries include the Vietnamese T’ien nien Tien Fong (Young Vanguard), the Bulgarian Septem-vriiche (Little Septembrist), the German Die Trommel (The Drum; German Democratic Republic), the Yugoslav Male no-vine (Little Newspaper) and Titov pionir (Titoist Pioneer), the Czech Sedmič ka (Little Week) and Kamarád (Comrade), the Mongolian Pioneryn unen (Pioneer Pravda), and the Polish Swiatmł odych (World of the Young).

In the USSR and other socialist countries, Pioneer newspapers exchange publications and promote international solidarity among Pioneer organizations, competitions of children’s creative activity, and sports competitions. To coordinate the editorial work of Pioneer newspapers in the socialist countries, editorial conferences and seminars have been held in Prague (1961), Moscow (1966), and Warsaw (1970). News of Pioneer newspapers’ activities in the socialist countries is published in CIMEA Information, the publication of the International Committee of Children’s and Adolescents’ Movements.


O partiinoi i sovetskoi pechati, radioveshchanii i televidenii. Moscow, 1972.
Pionerskaia pechat’ v dokumentakh. Leningrad, 1972.
Vishnevskaia, Iu. N. “Vozniknovenie pionerskoi pechatnoi gazety v SSSR (1922-1925).” Vestnik LGU, 1972, no. 20.


The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.
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