by John W. Williams [1],
                      Principia College, Elsah, IL 62028, USA

          N.B.: Please consider this a work-in-progress. All comments,
                suggestions, additions, and corrections are welcome,
                and needed.


          As did almost every former communist regime, Mongolia under-
          went a fundamental political revolution upon the collapse of
          the  Soviet Union. This paper considers the current state of
          Mongolian mass media five years after its democratic revolu-

          Mongolia  once  proudly proclaimed itself as the second com-
          munist country. Its revolution occurred in 1921 and the Mon-
          golian communist party, the Mongolian People's Revolutionary
          Party,  solidified its single party status by 1924. The 1921
          revolution,  supported by Bolshevik troops, removed the last
          elements of Chinese suzerainty. Within a few years, the last
          king of Mongolia died powerless and was not replaced. Paral-
          leling Stalin's "Red Terror", Mongolia suffered similar ter-
          ror  under  the  dictator  Choibalsan.  In  part as a buffer
          against  the  Chinese,  the  Soviets  stationed thousands of
          troops  in Mongolia. As with the other Soviet client states,
          Mongolia was dependent of Soviet economic structure and aid.
          The  collapse  of the Soviet Union, coupled with rapid with-
          drawal of troops and the substantial economic subsidy, shook
          Mongolia.  Within  months  in early 1990, Mongolia underwent
          its   own  relatively  peaceful  democratic  revolution. The
          revolution  included  legalization  of multiple and opposing
          political  parties, a dramatically rewritten constitution, a
          set of free and relatively fair legislative and presidential
          elections, opening of the market economy, and freedom of the

          Newspapers are free yet highly partisan. Most are associated
          with  political  parties  or politically-motivated organiza-
          tions.  Publishing  of print materials is hampered by access
          to necessary resources, including newsprint. Broadcasting is
          still  controlled  by the government and is widely available
          as  a result of satellite and land-line relays. Broadcasting
          and telecommunications are hampered by technological limita-
          tions,  complicated  by  the severe economic crisis faced by
          Mongolia,  which  was left stranded without Soviet subsidies
          and with a poorly developed infrastructure.

          Mongolia's   population  is  estimated  to  be  as  high  as
          2,400,000 (CIA). However, Mongolians are outnumbered by over
          25  million  sheep,  cows,  goats,  horses,  yaks and camels
          (Europa,  Hunter). While a quarter of the population live in
          or near the national capital of Ulaanbaatar, the majority of
          Mongolians are nomadic wanderers or live in small provincial
          or  district  towns.  There  is  no  clear indication of the
          literacy rate, although education is compulsory and free for
          the  first eight years. One estimate places literacy at more
          than  90%  (State Department 1991, October 1993). Since over
          half  of  Mongolians are still nomadic herders, children are
          sent  to  boarding schools in provincial (aimag) or district
          (sum) capitals.

          There is a flourishing, though small, market economy. An ex-
          tensive  "black  market"  involving  both  legal and illegal
          transactions  occurs every Saturday, Sunday and Wednesday in
          Ulaanbaatar.  Roads in and out of the market area are jammed
          with  buses,  ancient  Soviet  automobiles,  and horse-drawn
          carts.   The  state-owned  department  store  and  dozens of
          private  stores  and stalls are stocked with goods. However,
          economic change and development are hampered by lack of hard
          currency, lack of an economic infrastructure capable of sur-
          viving  outside  of  the  Soviet sphere, continued socialist
          bureaucratic  mentality,  and  continuation  of the old com-
          munist  party  apparatus  in power, albeit under a different
          name. One Mongolian, a former bureaucrat and now a committed
          "democrat",   described  the  situation  as  "outside  is
          democratic,  inside  is  communist". Tapping the back of his
          head  in a uniquely Mongolian gesture, the man added, "It is
          difficult  to  change the mentality. It's impossible to wash
          their brains".

                            NEWSPAPERS AND MAGAZINES

          In 1990, there were 56 newspapers (Hunter), one daily and 55
          non-dailies   (UN),  nationwide.  The  daily  newspaper, the
          government  organ  "People's  Power",  had  a circulation of
          162,000  and  the  non-dailies  had  combined circulation of
          1,133,000  (UN).  By 1994, there were some 18 principal "na-
          tional  newspapers"  (Europa),  as  well as a weekly English
          language newspaper, in Ulaanbaatar alone. The circulation of
          "People's  Power"  collapsed  in  1991  in  the  face of the
          proliferation  of  opposition  or  competing newspapers. The
          circulation collapse was hastened by a dramatic shortfall in
          the  availability  of  newsprint. In 1985, Mongolia consumed
          3,800  metric  tons of newsprint, while in 1991, this amount
          had declined to 397 metric tons (UN).

          In  1990,  there were 45 periodicals nationwide (Hunter, UN)
          with  a  combined  circulation  of  6,361,000 (UN). By 1994,
          there  were  some  30 "principal" periodicals, not including
          three English language magazines, distributed from the capi-
          tal.  Many  of the magazines are published in Ulaanbaatar by
          the government's Suhbaatar Publishing House (Europa).

          Periodicals,   especially  newspapers,  fall  into  three
          categories:   those  published  by  government  or  quasi-
          governmental  organizations;  those  published  by political
          parties;  and  those  considered "independent". Even the in-
          dependent  newspapers  are  acknowledged to have a political
          position,  usually  critical  of  the government. Two of the
          government  periodicals are "People's Power" and "Government
          News".  Among the independent newspapers are "Open History",
          "Blue  Spot",  "Democracy", and "Word". "Blue Spot" is named
          after  a temporary birthmark found on most Mongolian babies,
          considered   a  mark  of  a  true  Mongolian.  (Karlsrud and
          Schultz,  1993)  These types of newspapers, according to in-
          formal  interviews,  are  said  to  be  "very democratic" or
          "publish the truth".

          Every  person interviewed, including nomads, claimed to read
          a  newspaper  "when  available".  This  response, if honest,
          reflects a high degree of literacy, coupled with the problem
          of distribution of information.

          Perhaps  the  most  dramatic  indication  of a thriving open
          press  is  the  appearance  of pornography. The tabloid "Hot
          Blanket"  features  frontal  nudity of Occidental women. The
          tabloid  is  displayed  by  street  vendors, with the public
          spared  only  through bad printing, smudged inking, and poor
          reproduction of the original pictures.

                                 NEWS AGENCIES

          The  government controls the national news agency, Montsame,
          short  for  Mongol  Tsahilgaan  Medeeniy Agentlag (Mongolian
          News  Agency),  which is accorded the status of a government
          directorate.  It was founded in 1957 on the Soviet model. It
          issues fortnightly bulletins in English, French and Russian.
          The  building  housing  Montsame  and the "Mongol Messenger"
          was  severely  damaged  by  fire in 1994. These agencies are
          temporarily  housed  in  the  Central  Post Office while the
          original  building is being renovated. (Corff, 1995) A sepa-
          rate  Sanpress, founded in 1992 after the democratic revolu-
          tion,  collects  and  distributes domestic and foreign news.
          Two  Russian  news  agencies (ITAR-TASS and RIA-Novosti), as
          well as the Chinese Xinhua (New China) News Agency, maintain
          bureaus in Ulaanbaatar.


          In  1988,  6,699  books and brochures titles were published,
          for  a  total  of 7.8 million copies (Europa). The number of
          copies  rose  to  8.4 million in 1989 (Europa). In 1990, 717
          book titles alone were published, for a total of 6.4 million
          copies  (Hunter;  Europa).  Books  are available from street
          vendors  and  in  book shops, including the state department
          store.  However,  the  quality  of the paper and printing is
          still  poor.  According  to  those  who  travel regularly to
          Mongolia,  the cost of books has soared (Corff, March 1995).
          Dr. Oliver Corff, a scholar with the Free University in Ber-
          lin  who is involved with establishing transliteration stan-
          dards  for  Mongolian,  has monitored the publishing sector.
          Recently, Corff summarized:

               The   overall  situation  in  the  publishing sector
               (books,  periodicals,  etc.) has deteriorated. I did
               not  have  a look at the ordinary bookstores. Just a
               look  at the offers of the book stalls on the stairs
               of  the  university  building showed that prices for
               books  have  increased  dramatically  and  that many
               people  seem to sell their libraries as I could dis-
               cover  many  once  unavailable  books  which all had
               found  their way from private hands to the tables of
               the  book-sellers. Many books had signs of heavy use
               [...].  Others  had signatures, margin notes, under-
               lined  passages  and  other similar traces of former
               owners. (Corff, March 1995)

          The primary publisher is the government's Suhbaatar Publish-
          ing  House in Ulaanbaatar. As recently as 1993, it published
          70%  of Mongolia's printed matter, including 12 central new-
          spapers   and  32  magazines  (Europa).  There  are  smaller
          publishing houses in Ulaanbaatar and the provincial capitals.
          Publishing  is  predominantly  in the Cyrillic alphabet (im-
          posed by the Soviets in 1941), with some publishing in bicig
          (the original Mongolian) and in English.


          With  the  exception  of one minor, rural radio station, all
          broadcasting is controlled by the government. Responsibility
          rests  with the Directorate of Radio and Television Affairs,
          a cabinet-level ministry. A 1,900 kilometer radio relay from
          the  capital of Ulaanbaatar in the north central part of the
          country  to the extreme western provincial capitals of Altai
          and   Olgii  provides  radio,  television  and  direct-dial
          telephone  links. Radio relay lines have recently been built
          from the national capital to far eastern provincial capitals
          of  Choybalsan,  Suhbaatar  and Saynshand. Television relays
          have been inaugurated via Asiasat.

          Radio  was  established in Mongolia in 1934. The government-
          controlled   Ulaanbaatar  or  Mongol  Radio  (Mongol Yaridz)
          broadcasts  two  national programs in Mongolian and external
          services  in English, Chinese, Japanese, Kazakh and Russian.
          By  the  time of the democratic revolution, there were 12 AM
          stations  and one FM station (CIA). Several sources indicate
          a  steady  decline  in the number of radio receivers in use,
          from  226,200  in  1988,  to  222,500 in 1989, to 205,600 in
          1990,  to  under 186,000 today (Hunter, Europa). This may be
          explained by the growing economic hardships and dislocations
          caused  by  the  shift  to  a  market economy. Other sources
          report increases to 297,000 radio receivers in 1991 (UN) and
          360,000  radio  receivers  in  1993  (Banks). There are also
          443,200 wired radio outlets in urban areas (Europa).

          Television   was  established  in  Mongolia  in  1967. Until
          recently,  all  television  was  controlled  directly by the
          government.   A  new  "independent"  but government-financed
          television company was formed in mid-1992 and started broad-
          casting  30  hours  of  programming  a week. Mongol Televidz
          transmits  daily  locally produced programming and a variety
          of  foreign  relays.  Mongolian television receivers receive
          broadcast  from  local transmitters or provincial repeaters.
          These  transmitters  receive their signals either from relay
          lines, land lines or Asiasat. Distribution of programming is
          controlled by the state television monopoly.

          There  are,  in  effect, four television channels. This cau-
          tionary  description  reflects the perception of Mongolians,
          found in informal interviews, that there are many more chan-
          nels. This is a result of the nature of the programming. Ac-
          cording  to  the weekly television listing in the Mongolian-
          language press, Mongolian language broadcasts air daily from
          6  to  11 pm; Russian language (from Orbit 3 satellite) airs
          from 7 to 10 am and 5:30 pm to 2 am; Japanese language (from
          NHK,  the  Japanese network) airs from 7 to 8:35 am and 4:30
          to 6 pm; and an assortment of languages air at various times
          on  various  days ("Program of American Information" at 6 pm
          and  "Channel  France  International"  from  10  to 11 pm on
          Monday  through  Thursday;  STAR  TV on Friday, Saturday and
          Sunday;  some  additional Russian broadcasts on Sunday). In-
          stead  of  thinking  of channels, Mongolians appear to think
          about  language  programming. Hence, in interviews without a
          printed  television  listing  before  them, Mongolians would
          list  two  Russian  channels,  a  Japanese channel, a French
          channel,  an  American channel, and an international channel
          with  English  and Chinese (a reference to STAR TV based out
          of Hong Kong), in addition to the Mongolian state television
          channel.  The  viewers were mixing language programming with
          channels.  When  asked,  they respond that Mongol television
          broadcasts  from  early  morning to late night, whereas some
          sort  of programming is broadcast throughout the day, though
          not   necessarily  in  Mongolian.  There  are  reports  of a
          proposal  for  a  24-hour  American-style  channel, to start
          operation in November 1995.

          The  state television channel broadcasts a mixture of films,
          concerts  and news. The broadcast schedule for Tuesday, July
          4, was:

          1800    News (what we might call news briefs)
          1810    Repeat of a program titled "Rider with a Silver
          1900    Dubbed program titled "Inspector Derrick"
          2000    Program titled "First Chamber", reporting on the
          2020    Program described as "Interview by Journalist"
          2040    A documentary on the seventieth anniversary of
                  automobile transportation
          2100    News (including international news)
          2130    Program titled "Recommendation"
          2140    "Tele-Stock" (the nightly business report)
          2150    "Official Transmission" (a government prepared
          2250    News (news brief)
          2300    Sign-off

          In 1990, there were some 137,400 television receivers in use
          (Europa).  Some  sources  indicate  a  decline  in number of
          television  receivers  to 90,000 in 1991 (UN) and 120,000 in
          1993  (Hunter, CIA). Prior to the use of Asiasat, television
          was  distributed  via 18 provincial repeaters (CIA). Televi-
          sion  receivers  and  antennas  were found throughout Ulaan-
          baatar, in  provincial towns, and in rural areas. Nomads ob-
          tain  power  through gasoline generators, old car batteries,
          and,  in  one case, from a solar panel placed on the roof of
          the  ger (nomadic tent called a yurt by the Russians). Every
          person  interviewed  claimed  to have access to a television

          Russian  television is transmitted via the Molniya satellite
          and the Orbita ground station in Ulaanbaatar and by the Ekran
          satellite  system  to  population  centers  (Europa). Kazakh
          television is received in the far western province of Bayan-
          olgiy, where a substantial Kazakh minority live.

          Satellite-distributed  television  is  available in selected
          sites,  such  as  "luxury"  hotels.  Standard fare, based on
          programming available at Ulaanbaatar's two luxury hotels, is
          limited  to  Russian  television (listed as RTV), one of the
          Chinese  national  channels (CCTV), and services of STAR TV,
          the  Hong  Kong-based  continent-wide  service. Among STAR's
          services   are  STAR  PLUS,  Prime  Sports,  STAR  (Japanese
          language)  and [V], STAR's version of MTV. (Economist, 1994)
          One  of  the  hotels receives CNN International's hotel news

                           POST AND TELECOMMUNICATION

          Mongolia has been known by philatelists for its creative and
          colorful,  though often very un-Mongolian stamps. One of the
          most  popular  tourist  stamps  is of Mickey Mouse. In 1990,
          there  were 428 post offices (Hunter). With an exchange rate
          of   450  tugrogs  to  one  U.S.  dollar,  an  international
          postcard,  regardless  of  destination, costs 44 tugrogs, or
          about 10 cents.

          In  1990,  there  were 341 telephone exchanges (Hunter). The
          number of telephones has grown from 63,000 in 1989 (CIA), to
          66,400  in  1990  (Hunter,  UN), to 69,200 in 1992 (Europa).
          There  are  only 3 telephones per 100 inhabitants (UN). Cel-
          lular phones are not yet in use.

          Internet  connections  are  just now reaching into Mongolia,
          which has been considered one of the "big bare spots" (Jack-
          son, 1995).

                          FILM, CINEMA, VIDEO, THEATER

          By  the  end  of  the Eighties, there were approximately 580
          cinemas and theaters (UN). There were 30 cinemas, 522 mobile
          cinemas and 30 theatres (Hunter). Annual attendance at films
          and  shows  was  estimated  at over 20 million (UN). Central
          Ulaanbaatar  is  filled  with  a  variety of formerly state-
          supported  theatres,  from  dance,  drama  and music, to the
          state   circus.  Among  the  popular  movies  are  American
          westerns. There is a small native film industry.

          The most famous recent "Mongolian" film is "Urgha" or "Close
          to  Eden",  copies  of  which are available for rent through
          major  video  rental chains. The film, however, is a French-
          Russian  co-production  set  in  and filmed in Chinese Inner
          Mongolia.  The  director,  Nikita Mikhalkov, received recent
          acclaim  by  winning the 1995 Academy Award for Best Foreign
          Film  for  "Burnt  by  the  Sun". "Urgha" is a human, affec-
          tionate,  lyrical and funny study of Mongolian life and con-
          flict  of  cultures.  An  urgha is the lasso on the end of a
          pole  used  by Mongolian nomads to catch animals. When stuck
          upright in the steppes, it serves to warn interlopers that a
          young man is romancing a young woman nearby.

          Another  film  making  the rounds of Western art theaters is
          "Johanna  D'Arc  of  Mongolia".  It  is  the  story of seven
          Western  women kidnapped by a group of female Mongolian war-
          riors off of the Trans-Siberian Railroad and taken to a Mon-
          golian  village. The 1989 movie is a West German production,
          with  English  subtitles.  The  primary focus of the film is
          cultural  interaction  and  conflict, and the plot serves as
          filler  between  scenes of traditional Mongolian culture and

          Mongolian  films  have  made it to the Fukuoka International
          Film  Festival (Japan, September 1993) and the 44th Interna-
          tional  Film  Festival  "Berlinale"  (Germany,  Spring 1994)
          (Corff).  Twelve films were screened at The Asian Art Museum
          of  San Francisco in its series "Waves of Conflict: Mongolia
          in  Transformation"  (Fall  1995). Half of the films are ac-
          tually  Mongolian  productions,  including "Son of Mongolia"
          (1936),  "Mirage  Above  the  Gobi  Desert"  (1980), "An Un-
          fortunate  Fortune" (1991), "Shackles" (1991), and "Saint in
          a  Turbulent  Age"  (1992). A catalog of Mongolian films and
          film  reviews  is begin developed by Infosystem Mongolei, an
          Internet-based electronic journal on Mongolian affairs based
          out of the Free University of Berlin. (Infosystem Mongolei)

          Mongolia  is  on  the  PAL  video  system. Video players are
          available,  though  there  is  little evidence of much video

          The  most  up-to-date models of Polaroid cameras are visible
          throughout  Ulaanbaatar.  Dozens  of  entrepreneural photo-
          graphers set up stands in Sukhbaatar Square in the center of
          the capital with props, such as large stuffed teddy bears or
          inflatable  Santa  Claus dolls, and displays of photographs.
          Some   of  the  more  sophisticated  photographers  have  35
          milimeter  cameras, with film that requires processing. Mon-
          golian  families  and individuals pose for and pay for their
          pictures.  During  Naadam, the three days of national sports
          celebration  in  mid-July,  Polaroid  photographers roam the
          crowds, hawking their services.


          One  of  the legacies of Soviet influence and occupation was
          the  replacement  of  the  traditional Mongolian alphabet or
          "bicig"  with the Russian Cyrillic in 1946. As a consequence
          of  the  revolution  of 1990, the state mandated a return to
          the  traditional  Mongolian  script by 1994. The plan failed
          and  the year 2000 has been set as a new target date. Teach-
          ing  of  the original script has resumed in schools, but the
          population  has  doggedly held to the Cyrillic, in part bec-
          ause  whole  generations  schooled  between  the  end of the
          Second  World  War  and  the fall of the Berlin Wall are il-
          literate  in  the  original  script.  The script, eventually
          based  on Aramaeic roots conveyed through Sogdian and Uighur
          (whence its name "Uighur script"), is written vertically and
          looks   similar  to  Arabic.  Spoken  Mongol  is  an  Altaic
          language, derived from the Altaic Mountains of Central Asia.
          It  is  related  to  Turkic  (including  Uzbek,  Turkish and
          Kazakh),  Korean  and,  possibly, Japanese. In an attempt to
          standardize  the  transition back to bicig, scholars are in-
          volved  in  the  romanization  of  the  bicig characters, as
          strange  as  this  may  seem. This allows for development of
          translation dictionaries between European languages and Mon-
          golian,  as well as uses in the Western press, in computers,
          and in library cataloging. (Corff, June 1995)

                             FREEDOM OF EXPRESSION

          Freedom  of  speech,  press and "opinion" is provided for in
          the  new 1992 Constitution. The U.S. Department of State, in
          its  annual  report  on human rights practices, reports that
          these freedoms are respected in practice (1993, 1994, 1995).
          Lively  debate  covers a broad range of political, economic,
          and  social topics. The press have been able to confront the
          senior  officials in reported press conferences. The follow-
          ing  exchange  with the President's chancellery, reported in
          the English-language newspaper, indicates some of the adver-
          sarial relationship between the press and the government:

               Question:  What  is  the  stance  of the President's
               Chancellery   about  the  negatively-toned criticism
               raised  by the mass media during the presentation of
               [the  report on China's wiretapping of the Mongolian
               embassy  in Beijing]? (Montsame, the state news ser-

               Answer:  We  shall  accept any criticism which would
               help  our  activities  but  not mere declaration and
               denying what has been done.

               Question:  What  is the reaction on Ts. Dashdondov's
               article  published  in Zasgiin Gazryn Medee and open
               letters issued by Ulaanbaatar and other newspapers?

               Answer:   The  Chancellery  administration  is  not
               satisfied  with  the fact that some newspapers print
               biased  information  accusing  the head of state and
               blackmailing  what has been achieved. Letters of the
               Centre for Public Knowledge, of the Association 281,
               of  the Front for the Patriotic Unity, the organiza-
               tions  not  officially registered in the Ministry of
               Justice, were published in the press. (Mongol Mes-

          Political  parties  must  be registered with the Ministry of
          Justice. Freedom of assembly is honored. Two days before the
          national independence celebrations, school teachers staged a
          major  protest  in  Sukhbaatar or Liberty Square (Mongolia's
          equivalent to Red Square or Tienanmien Square). The English-
          language newspaper reported their protest,

               "Teachers  on  strike  held  another  meeting on the
               Liberty  Square here in Ulaanbaatar... Teachers have
               officially declared, if their demands are refused, a
               nationwide strike will follow in September." (Mongol

          Newspapers have been able to publish and circulate freely. A
          variety  of newspapers, including the pornographic newspaper
          "Hot Blanket", are readily available for sale on the street.
          Newsprint shortages have prevented newspapers from appearing
          regularly.  Some  newspapers  have been able to import news-
          print  directly  or  obtain  it as a gift. Through the early
          1990s, the government controlled the allocation of newsprint
          imported  through  official trade. Freedom House reported at
          the  time that "the written press faces restrictions because
          the  government  controls the distribution of newsprint" (p.
          370). Opposition parties and publishers alleged that limita-
          tions  on newsprint effectively prevented them from publish-
          ing  as  frequently  as  the  MPRP organ, Unen (Human Rights
          Practices).  However,  according  the most recent U.S. State
          Department  human  rights  reports, the government has with-
          drawn from the newsprint distribution process, and all news-
          papers  buy  directly from private suppliers. Neither party-
          affiliated  nor  independent newspapers report difficulty in
          securing  newsprint,  however,  "due  to transportation dif-
          ficulties,  uneven  postal  service, and the fluctuations in
          the  amount  of newsprint available, in outlying regions ac-
          cess  to  publications  is  somewhat restricted" (U.S. State
          Department, 1995).

          Freedom  House reported that "although all radio and televi-
          sion  stations  are  government-owned (with the exception of
          one  minor  rural station), opposition viewpoints are aired"
          (p.  370).  Both  the  opposition  and  the  government have
          criticized Mongolian television's coverage. According to the
          U.S. State Department, Mongolian television regularly broad-
          casts  the  views  of  opposition  parties as well as of the
          government,  and  its news programs are generally considered
          balanced (Human Rights Practices).

          Freedom  House  has,  since  1979,  issued annual ratings of
          press freedom around the world. The current survey rates na-
          tional  print and broadcast freedom on four topics: laws and
          regulation  that  influence media content (the actual impact
          of law as and legal practices, not the ceremonial commitment
          to press freedom); political pressures and controls on media
          content   (government  pressure  on  the  content  of either
          privately  owned  or state owned media); economic influences
          over   media  content  (economic  pressures,  favoritism  or
          reprisals  by either the private or government sectors); and
          repressive  actions,  including  the killing of journalists,
          physical violence against journalists or facilities, censor-
          ship,  self-censorship,  harassment, or expulsion. The first
          three  items  are  rated on a 0 to 10 scale while the fourth
          item  is rated on a 0 to 20 scale. Broadcast and print press
          freedom  are  evaluated  separately. The total rating ranges
          from  0  to  100,  with  a free nation rated between 0-30, a
          partly  free  nation rated between 31-60, and a not-free na-
          tion  rated  between  61-100.  The 1994 Freedom House report
          rated  Mongolia at 40 or partly free [2]. Freedom House sum-
          marized  the situation in the "ex-Soviets", specifically in-
          cluding Mongolia, as:

               Diverse  and  competitive  news  media which are in-
               dependent of government or the ruling party are, in-
               deed,  difficult to create where market economies do
               not yet function. Bureaucrats from the communist era
               still  serve major print and broadcast systems. More
               than 90 percent of magazines and newspapers are dis-
               tributed  by the post office. By putting pressure on
               this   monopoly,  the  new  government  can  harass
               publishers...  Journalists, moreover, still practice
               self-censorship  and  display  polemical rather than
               balanced  reportorial  styles. For such reasons, the
               news   media  in  these  formerly  Soviet-associated
               states are deemed party free... Mongolia... (p. 5)

          The  Freedom House rated Mongolia as having laws and regula-
          tions  that  influence media content, rating broadcasting at
          10  and  print  at  6,  with 10 the most restrictive rating.
          While  the report does not provide detail, these ratings may
          reflect  state ownership or control of radio and television,
          and  the failure to promulgate specific legislation protect-
          ing  press freedom. According to the report's explanation, a
          10  rating  on broadcasting is assigned if all the broadcast
          media  are owned by government with no dissent allowed. This
          may be a harsh rating given the opposition's ability to gain
          access  to the broadcast media, especially during the recent
          elections.  Freedom House rated Mongolia as having political
          pressures and controls on media content, rating broadcasting
          at 6 and print at 9. This may reflect the political orienta-
          tion  and  sponsorship of the print media, while state radio
          and  television have been under pressure to permit access of
          alternative   viewpoints.  Mongolia  was  rated  as  having
          economic  influences over media content, rating broadcasting
          at  6  and  print  at  8. This may reflect state support for
          broadcasting,  while  periodicals are supported by political
          parties,  political  organizations, or governmental agencies
          with specific political agenda. Freedom House gives Mongolia
          a 0, the best possible rating, on repressive actions against
          the  media.  Finally, the Freedom House report does indicate
          general  trends  of  improvement  or  deterioration in press
          freedom.  The  1994  report  provides  no  indication of any
          change in Mongolia's press freedom.

          During  the  1992  legislative elections for the State Great
          Hural   (the  unicameral  parliament),  all  parties  and
          candidates  were given free and equal broadcast time on Mon-
          golian  radio  and  television,  and space in the government
          newspaper  Ardyn  Erh  (People's  Power)  on  the basis of a
          mutually agreed lottery (U.S. State Department, 1993). State
          television  and  radio report both opposition and government
          views. In response to a 1993 threat by opposition parties to
          withdraw   from  the  Great  Hural,  the  government briefly
          granted  opposition parties limited access to both broadcast
          and  print  media.  Revocation of this access contributed to
          the  declaration  of a two-week hunger strike in April 1994.
          Called  by  the  Mongolian  Democratic Union, the strike was
          reminiscent of the similar action that helped spark the pro-
          democracy  movement  in  1990.  The strike, staged in Ulaan-
          baatar's central  square,  drew  the  support  of opposition
          parties  and  provoked  a  counterstrike  by government sup-
          porters  from  the  former  communist  party,  the Mongolian
          People's   Revolutionary  Party.  President  Ochirbat, first
          elected by the ruling MPRP then re-elected as the opposition
          parties'  candidate,  mediated  an  end to the strike with a
          promises  to  introduce  new  legislation codifying the con-
          stitutional right of free expression. The strikes ended when
          the  three  parties  with seats in the Great Hural agreed to
          discussion  news  legislation dealing with press freedom and
          the  right  of  assembly. The proposed legislation, however,
          was  not  passed by the end of the year. (U.S. State Depart-
          ment, 1995)

          Draft  laws  on  freedom of the press and elections were not
          passed   by  the  Great  Hural  during  its  spring session,
          although the national legislature approved a package of laws
          on  state secrets and state security, and held a first read-
          ing  of  a  draft  law on "the opinion poll of the citizens"
          (Mongol Messenger).

          The development of a free and vigorous press, as with a free
          and  growing democracy, is dependent of economic conditions.
          "Prospects  for  development",  according  to the U.S. State
          Department, "are constrained by Mongolia's land-locked loca-
          tion  and lack of basic infrastructure" (Dispatch 1993). The
          transition  to  democracy has been economically painful. Ac-
          cording to the Economist,

               Mongolia's  GDP declined in the four years from 1989
               to 1993. The cumulative loss in national income came
               to  20%, real private consumption per person dropped
               by  a  third, and real investment by two-thirds. In-
               flation reached 330% in 1993 and exports and imports
               fell  by  more  than half between 1990 and 1993. Ac-
               cording  to official figures, one Mongolian in every
               four  now  lives  below  the  poverty line of $8 per
               month. (Economist, November 1994)

                                   APPENDIX I

                          MAJOR MONGOLIAN NEWSPAPERS

       English title of      estimated affiliation             frequency
       newspaper & year of   circula-
       establishment         tion

       Truth (1920)          150,000   MPRP (former communist  2x wk
                                       party) organ

       People's Power (1924, 78,000    Great Hural and Cabinet wkdays

       Mongolian Youth       76,300    Revolutionary Youth     3x month
       (1924)                          League

       Labor (1928)          64,900    Mongolian Trade Union   6x month

       Woodpecker            54,000    Union of Writers        16x year

       Capital's Newspaper   39,700    Ulaanbaatar People's     wkly
       (1954)                          Revolutionary Party

       Ulaanbaatar (1990)    31,000    Ulaanbaatar City Execu-  wkdays
                                       tive Administration

       The Word (1990)       30,300    Social Democratic Party wkly
                                       (opposition party)

       Freedom               30,000    National Democratic     3x month
                                       Party (opposition

       Mongolian Sport                 National Olympic Com-   wkly

       Independence (1930)   24,700    Ministry of Defense     3x month

       Mongolian Countryside 21,500    Association of          3x month
       (1961)                          Herdsmen, Association
                                       of Cropgrowers, Na-
                                       tional Association of
                                       Agricultural Co-
                                       operative Members

       Teacher (1989)        17,600    Ministry of Science and 3x month

       Openness (1990)       15,000    Montsame, government    3x month
                                       news agency

       Mongolian Co-         15,000    Association of Produc-  2x month
       operative                       tion & Service Coops

       Free Tribune          10,000    United Association of   3x month
                                       Free Trade Unions

       Literature (1955)     3,000     Union of Writers        2x month

       The Mongol Messenger  1,200     Montsame News Service   wkly
       (1991)                          (in English)

       Harmony (1990)                  Nat'l Assoc. of Free    2x month
                                       Writers & Translators

       The Mongolian In-               (in English)            2x month
       dependent (1993)

          (Banks; Europa)

                                  APPENDIX II

                           MAJOR MONGOLIAN MAGAZINES

       English title of      estimated affiliation             frequency
       magazine & year of    circula-
       establishment         tion

       Academy of Sciences             Academy of Sciences     4x year
       News (1961)

       Beautiful Doe (1925)  75,000    Association of Women    4x year

       Business Times (1991)           National Information

       Cross Opinion (1991)            "Unen" (Truth), MPRP    2x month

       East-West (1978)                Institute of Oriental   4x year
                                       and International Stu-
                                       dies of Academy of
                                       (scientific and socio-
                                       political journal)

       Education                       Ministry of Science and 8x year

       Fire (1991)                     Mongolian Cultural
                                       (non-political cultural

       Foreign Trade of                Chamber of Commerce and 2x year
       Mongolia                        Industry
                                       (in English)

       Friendly Magpies                for students of         monthly
       (1991)                          English, with parallel
                                       texts in English and

       Government News                 governmental decrees    2x week
       (1991)                          and resolutions

       Growing Up            23,400    Ministry of Science and 2x month

       Health                          Ministry of Health      4x year

       Herdsman                                                4x year

       Hope Plus Technology            Assoc. of Private       monthly
       (1991)                          Manufacturers

       Human Rights (1991)             Voluntary Committee for 4x year
                                       Defence of Human
                                       Rights, and Mongolian
                                       Section of Amnesty In-

       Interpretation and    15,000    MPRP                    4x year
       Contemplation                   (theoretical and
                                       political magazine)

       Ironic Laugh (1990)             independent             monthly

       Journalist (1982)     4,000     Union of Journalists    4x year
                                       (journalism, politics,
                                       economics, literature,

       Legal Information               Ministry of Law         monthly

       Legality                        Procurator's Office,    4x year
                                       Supreme Court, and Min-
                                       istry of Law

       Market (1990)                   Ministry of Trade and   wkly

       Mongolian Agriculture           Ministry of Food and    4x year
                                       Agriculture, and Union
                                       of Agricultural Produc-
                                       tion Associations

       Mongolian Beauty      20,000    Association of Women    3x month

       Mongolian Medicine              Ministry of Health and  4x year
                                       Scientific Society of

       Mongolian Novel       2,000     Union of Writers        2x year

       Publicity Herald                National Information    2x week
       (1991)                          Centre
                                       (theater, cinema, tv
                                       programs and advertise-

       Science and Life      20,000    Academy of Sciences     4x year

       Spark (1944)          2,000     Union of Writers        2x year

       State Information     10,000    goverment decrees,      10x year
       (1990)                          state laws, par-
                                       liamentary news

       Stockmarket News                                        wkly


          Banks,  Arthur  S., ed., Mongolia, Political Handbook of the
              World:  1994-1995, CSA Publications, State University of
              New York, Binghamton, New York, October 1, 1994.

          Central  Intelligence  Agency,  "Mongolia", World Fact Book,
              August 3, 1994.

          Corff,  Oliver,  "Impressions  from  a recent trip to Ulaan-
              baatar",  Infosystem Mongolei (electronic journal), Free
              University, Berlin, 9 March 1995.

          Corff, Oliver, "Writing Systems", Infosystem Mongolei (elec-
              tronic journal), Free University, Berlin, 13 June 1995.

          Economist,  "Wired  Planet",  The  Economist,  Vol. 330, No.
              7850, p. 12, February 12, 1994.

          Economist,  "Bare  Cupboards",  The Economist, Vol. 333, No.
              7891, p. 37, November 26, 1994.

          Freedom  House,  Good News and Bad: Press Freedom Worldwide:
              1994. Freedom House, New York.

          Hunter,  Brian,  editor.  "Mongolia",  The Statesman's Year-
              Book, 1994-1995. St. Martin's Press, New York.

          Infosystem Mongolei - An Internet-based Journal on Mongolian
              Affairs,   editor,  Oliver  Corff,  gopher:  gopher.fu-
    , e-mail:

          Jackson,  James  O., "It's a Wired, Wired World", Time, Vol.
              145, No. 12 (special issue), p. 80, Spring 1995.

          Karlsrud,  Katherin,  and  Dodi  Schultz,  "What to do about
              birthmarks",  Parents,  Vol.  68, No. 9, p 70, September

          McColm, I. R. Bruce, et. al., editors. Freedom in the World,
              1992-1993. Freedom House, New York.

          Mikhalkov,  Nikita,  dir.,  Michel  Seydoux,  prod., "Urgha"
              ("Close  to  Eden"),  Images  France (France) and Studio
              Trite (USSR) (English subtitles) (color), 1991.

          "Mongolia", The Europa World Year Book 1994, Vol. II, Europa
              Publications Limited.

          Mongol Messenger, weekly English language newspaper, Ulaanbaatar.

          Ottinger,  Ulrike,  dir.,  "Johanna D'Arc of Mongolia," West
              Germany (English subtitles) (color, 165 minutes), 1989.

          People's  Power (English translation of Mongolian title "Ar-
              dyn    Erkh"),  Mongolian-language  daily  newspaper,
              published by Great Hural and Cabinet, Ulaanbaatar.

          United  Nations, Department for Economic and Social Informa-
              tion  and  Policy Analysis, Statistical Division, Stati-
              stical  Yearbook, 1992, Thirty-Ninth Issue, December 31,

          U.S.  Department  of  State,  "Mongolia", U.S. Department of
              State Dispatch, Vol. 2, No. 5, February 4, 1991.

          U.S.  Department of State, Bureau of Democracy, Human Rights
              and   Labor,  "1994  Human  Rights:  Mongolia",  Country
              Reports,  Human  Rights  Practices,  1994 Annual Report,
              U.S. Department of State, February 1, 1995.

          U.S.   Department  of  State,  Bureau  of  Human  Rights and
              Humanitarian  Affairs,  "1992  Human  Rights: Mongolia",
              Country  Reports,  Human  Rights  Practices:  1992, U.S.
              Department of State, February 15, 1993.

          U.S.   Department  of  State,  Bureau  of  Human  Rights and
              Humanitarian  Affairs,  "1993  Human  Rights: Mongolia",
              Country  Reports,  Human  Rights  Practices, 1993 Annual
              Report, U.S. Department of State, January 31, 1994.

          U.S.  Department  of  State, Office of Public Communication,
              Bureau  of  Public Affairs, "Fact Sheet: Mongolia", U.S.
              Department  of  State  Dispatch,  Vol. 4, No. 35, August

          U.S.  Department  of  State, Office of Public Communication,
              Bureau of Public Affairs, Background Note: Mongolia, Oc-
              tober 15, 1993.


          [1] The author spent two weeks in Mongolia during July 1995,
              traveling  to  Ulaanbaatar,  the capital, and to various
              provincial  and district capitals, to interview, collect
              data,  and  observe  the  transition  to democracy and a
              market economy. The research coincided with the national
              day celebration and the national games, known as Naadam,
              in  which people from all over the country travel to the
              capital  for  three  days of festivities, focused on the
              national  sports of wrestling, archery and horse racing.
              Perhaps  due  to  the continuing powerful role of former
              communists  in  the government, the professional sources
              asked  not to be identified by name. Almost all of these
              sources   spoke  English.  Citizen  "interviews"  were
              generally  informal discussions, through an interpreter,
              about  everyday  life, including media use and political
              attitudes.  The  author wandered through the ger encamp-
              ments  with  an  interpreter  to  talk  with  nomads who
              gathered for the national games.

          [2] To put Mongolia is some context, Freedom House rated In-
              dia  (38), Indonesia (58), Malaysia (58), Pakistan (58),
              Singapore (60), Thailand (60), and Turkey (59).