MASS MEDIA IN POST-REVOLUTION MONGOLIA by John W. Williams , Principia College, Elsah, IL 62028, USA email
N.B.: Please consider this a work-in-progress. All comments, suggestions, additions, and corrections are welcome, and needed. INTRODUCTION 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- tion. 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 press. 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. BOOKS 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. BROADCASTING: RADIO AND TELEVISION 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 Horse" 1900 Dubbed program titled "Inspector Derrick" 2000 Program titled "First Chamber", reporting on the legislature 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 report) 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 receiver. 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 service. 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 countryside. 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 use. 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. LANGUAGE 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- vice) 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- senger) 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 Messenger) 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 . 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 1990) Mongolian Youth 76,300 Revolutionary Youth 3x month (1924) League Labor (1928) 64,900 Mongolian Trade Union 6x month Federation Woodpecker 54,000 Union of Writers 16x year (satire) Capital's Newspaper 39,700 Ulaanbaatar People's wkly (1954) Revolutionary Party Committee 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 party) Mongolian Sport National Olympic Com- wkly mittee 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 Education 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 Centre (advertising) Cross Opinion (1991) "Unen" (Truth), MPRP 2x month organ East-West (1978) Institute of Oriental 4x year and International Stu- dies of Academy of Sciences (scientific and socio- political journal) Education Ministry of Science and 8x year Education Fire (1991) Mongolian Cultural Foundation (non-political cultural journal) 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 Mongolian Government News governmental decrees 2x week (1991) and resolutions Growing Up 23,400 Ministry of Science and 2x month Education 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- ternational Interpretation and 15,000 MPRP 4x year Contemplation (theoretical and political magazine) Ironic Laugh (1990) independent monthly (satire) Journalist (1982) 4,000 Union of Journalists 4x year (journalism, politics, economics, literature, art) Legal Information Ministry of Law monthly (1990) Legality Procurator's Office, 4x year Supreme Court, and Min- istry of Law Market (1990) Ministry of Trade and wkly Industry 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 (1990) Mongolian Medicine Ministry of Health and 4x year Scientific Society of Physicians Mongolian Novel 2,000 Union of Writers 2x year (1989) Publicity Herald National Information 2x week (1991) Centre (theater, cinema, tv programs and advertise- ments) Science and Life 20,000 Academy of Sciences 4x year (1935) 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 (1991) SOURCES 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. 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U.S. Department of State, Office of Public Communication, Bureau of Public Affairs, Background Note: Mongolia, Oc- tober 15, 1993. NOTES  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.  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).