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Staffing newspapers and training journalists in early Soviet Russia.

It is generally believed that the Soviet press was an integral part of the Bolshevik Party's propaganda machine and that Soviet journalists were propagandists for the Bolshevik Party/state. This view first arose in the 1930s but was not articulated fully until the Cold War, when Western scholars assumed that Soviet newspapers and journalists had always possessed the attributes that they identified for the Stalinist and post-Stalinist periods.(1) Although recently several scholars have explored important aspects of the history of the pre-Stalinist press, none except myself has reconsidered our conceptualization of that press or challenged the fundamental assumption that equates Soviet newspapers with propaganda and Soviet journalists with propagandists.(2)

The accepted image of the Soviet press is too narrowly conceived. Propaganda was indeed a primary function of the Soviet press, but it was not always its only function. In particular, during the New Economic Policy (NEP, 1921-28), the Soviet press was expected to achieve important non-ideological objectives. It was supposed to disseminate news and information, educate the far-flung and ignorant peasant masses, be a bulwark against corruption and nepotism in the emerging state and Party bureaucracies, and, through the worker-peasant correspondent (rabsel'kor) movement, facilitate communication from the masses to the regime.(3) Likewise, during NEP Soviet journalists were not supposed to be propagandists, they were supposed to be cadre/professionals, people who were both ideologically steadfast and professionally competent. NEP journalists were expected to accept the authority of the Bolshevik Party/state, to try to achieve the goals it set, and also to possess or acquire the skills and habits of the professional journalist.(4)

When NEP began there was a shortage of all types of journalists, and those that did exist generally were neither ideologically stalwart nor professionally proficient. The newspapers that these journalists produced were almost universally regarded as amateurish and inadequate. Leaders of the press corps repeatedly asserted that for the press to accomplish its manifold tasks it was necessary to produce intelligible, interesting newspapers that were relevant to readers' lives, and that such high calibre papers could only be produced by competent professional journalists. For example, when Illarion V. Vardin, the head of the Press Subsection of the Agitation and Propaganda Department of the Central Committee, complained that Soviet newspaper articles typically were "long winded, unpopular, boring and far from always politically and technically literate," he argued that the cause of this problem was that no true "journalists" existed because the profession was unrecognized and there were hardly any trained workers.(5) In a 1923 report to the Press Subsection, Konstantin Novitskii, the first rector of the Moscow Institute of Journalism, also noted the shortcomings of Soviet press workers, in particular those working outside of Moscow and Petrograd. Provincial journalists, he said, were usually "comrades lacking not only specialized knowledge, but even minimal general educational and political preparation."(6) According to Novitskii, such a state of affairs was unacceptable because the "journalist should be able to . . . respond to a whole series of complex questions about social, political, economic, trade, literary-artistic, theatrical, and religious life." The requirements of journalism meant that even "a general education is insufficient for the journalist - he needs a suitable specialized education."(7) Vardin also stressed that the widespread incompetence could only be rectified by a sustained commitment to specialized training. "The Soviet press," he declared, "must have a sufficient cadre of its own specialists. . . . [T]he fate of our press to a considerable degree depends on the fate of our Institute of Journalism."(8)

At the same time that press corps' leaders focused attention on the need to raise professional standards, they also stressed the continued importance of strong fidelity to the Bolshevik Party (partiinost'). For example, Vardin argued that Central Committee decrees directing that "journalist-communists" be transferred to newspaper work must actually be carried out.(9) "Comrade Chuchin," the secretary of the Party cell at the State Institute of Journalism in 1925, argued that a journalist who was not a Communist and who did not know how "to use the press as a weapon of the class struggle" could not be called a "good" journalist.(10) And Anatolii V. Lunacharskii, the Commissar of Enlightenment, asserted the importance of creating "a whole army of red journalists."(11) As a certain "O" from Leningrad saw it, ideological and professional training necessarily went together. "The newspaper," "O" declared, "is one of the most important participants on the revolutionary front. A reporter weakly grounded in Marxism and newspaper training is an invalid in [this] war."(12) Just as the NEP newspaper was conceptualized as an amalgam of disparate characteristics, so too were NEP journalists: they were supposed to be both ideological stalwarts and competent professionals. And if in reality journalists were not what they were supposed to be, it was imperative to train them to become so.

Because the leaders of the press corps were convinced that a person's class identity usually determined his or her attitude toward Bolshevik rule, the desire for ideological stalwarts was in practice translated into a distrust of members of the intelligentsia (intelligenty) and white-collar employees (sluzhashchie) and a predilection toward journalists who were Communists and proletarians or, once the alliance (smychka) with the peasantry was proclaimed, poor or middle peasants.(13) At the same time, leaders of the press corps were committed to staffing their newspapers with competent professionals who could raise the quality of the papers. The problem was, often it was the non-Communist, the intelligent, or the sluzhashchii who was most competent. The ideological commitment to a cadre of journalists who were trusted Party members with approved class identities thus came into conflict with the practical need for journalists who were competent professionals.

The problem of having to mediate between the ideological demand for sanctioned political and class identities and the need for proficiency was never formulated in explicit terms. In fact, Bolshevik rhetoric largely ignored the existence of the problem. The absence of an explicit formulation does not, however, mean that the problem did not exist. In reality, the conflicting claims of ideology and professionalism posed a critical dilemma both for the staffing of newspapers and for journalistic education in early Soviet Russia.(14)

This article examines available data on Party membership and class identity among working journalists and journalism students as well as changing enrollment criteria, matriculation patterns, and curricular revisions at the State Institute of Journalism. The article contends that during NEP Soviet newspapers were staffed by a conglomeration of journalists that included both the ideologically sanctioned and the professionally competent. Initially, the regime tried to provide technical training to those whom it trusted and ideological training to those whom it needed. Very quickly, however, the trend toward viewing sanctioned class identities and overt ideological allegiance as a prerequisite for specialized training in journalism began to assert itself. Entrance requirements were tightened at the State Institute of Journalism, and beginning in 1924 the institute claimed to train only trusted Bolsheviks with approved class identities. In fact, however, the institute continued to train significant numbers of sluzhashchie and intelligenty as well as persons lacking the officially required Party stazh (period of membership). The best explanation of this anomaly is that the supply of journalism students possessing approved class and political identities could not meet the demand for journalists who were competent. The institute sought to satisfy two conflicting imperatives and as a result violated its own rules. Statistical evidence also suggests that a strategy was employed that differentiated between editors and rank-and-file journalists, but - in both cases - valued a minimum level of professional competence higher in fact than in rhetoric. These de facto practices continued to be implemented even after the 1928 Shakhty trial sounded the ideological alarm against professionals with non-sanctioned class identities and even after the Cultural Revolution put an end to similar situations in other, less overtly political, educational institutions. The high value placed on proficiency is also suggested by the institute's unceasing efforts to devise a curriculum that would produce capable, accomplished journalists. Only in 1930 was the commitment to professional standards abandoned. In that year the State Institute of Journalism's curriculum was revised, its faculty was purged, and new matriculation patterns were established. Sanctioned class and political identities now outweighed all other considerations. As a result, one vital ingredient of the professional aspect of the NEP journalist's corporate identity was significantly compromised.

Staffing Newspapers

Before October 1917, many Bolsheviks were newspaper publicists, and some became masters of the art of persuasion. After the revolution, however, Party leaders became absorbed in other duties while lower-ranking Bolsheviks most often were drawn into the growing Party and Soviet bureaucratic apparatus, leaving them little time or inclination to write newspaper copy. As a consequence, most Soviet press workers in the early 1920s were people with little or no journalistic experience. Among these novice journalists, Party members were preferred but non-Party journalists were employed in great numbers because of a shortage of Party members available for this work and because the non-Communists often had superior education or valuable work experience. A few old-regime journalists worked for the Soviet press, though most had emigrated or ended their professional careers. Scornfully referred to as "bourgeois specialists," these experienced journalists were nonetheless vital to the Soviet newspaper industry because often only they actually knew how to put a newspaper together.(15)

Although statistical data are sparse, those which exist show that throughout NEP many non-Communists and persons with non-sanctioned class identities were employed as journalists and editors. In 1924 the Press Department studied Party membership among rank-and-file journalists and found that among the 1,270 individuals surveyed, 41 percent were Party members.(16) In 1925 a similar survey was conducted by the journalists' labor association of its 16,752 members, among whom were included administrative and white-collar technical personnel (such as proofreaders, typists, and accountants). Of the 88 percent who responded to a question about their Party status, 19 percent reported being members or candidates of the Party or Komsomol. The survey also asked about "social origins," and 71 percent responded to this question. Of these respondents, 18 percent were from the proletariat and 18 percent were from the peasantry; 40 percent had "other" social origins and 25 percent claimed to be from the "working intelligentsia" (trudovaia intelligentsiia).(17) Although the 1925 study surveyed many non-journalists and thus yields no information about journalists per se, when viewed together the two surveys suggest strongly that in the mid-1920s many working journalists-perhaps even the large majority-were neither Party nor Komsomol affiliated or did not have sanctioned class identities.

The best hypothesis to explain why there were so many employed journalists with non-sanctioned identities is that the pool of competent Communist journalists with sanctioned class identities was inadequate, while journalists with non-sanctioned identities had attractive attributes-such as higher education, technical skills and pre-revolutionary experience-which were especially useful at a time when the press network was simultaneously expanding and seeking improved quality. As Vardin explained, "the newspaper demands learning and skills . . . and those who have these qualities are necessary to us even if they are not Communists."(18)

Other surveys provide a statistical profile of NEP editors. These surveys show that the great majority of editors were Communists who had joined the Party soon after the revolution. They also indicate that many editors were intelligenty. In one study carried out in early 1923, over 90 percent of surveyed editors were Party members, and 89 percent of these had joined before 1921, thus indicating that they were genuinely committed rather than "career" communists.(19) In 1924, another study showed 80 percent of surveyed editors to be Party members, and 74 percent of these to have joined before 1919.(20) The situation was basically the same in late 1925, according to I. M. Vareikis, a Press Department official, who admitted that the press still employed some non-Party editors but claimed that "the overwhelming majority" were Party members who had acquired their work experience and skills after the revolution.(21) While the preponderance of longstanding Party members among NEP editors satisfied official desires, the class identities of these editors did not. In fact, surveys show that between 1924 and 1925 the percentage of editors with social origins in the intelligentsia increased from 38 to 63 percent, with a corresponding decrease in the percentage of editors with worker or peasant origins.(22) Why had more editors with intelligentsia origins become employed? Basically, for the same reason that non-Communist journalists with non-sanctioned class identities were employed: the press network was expanding and its leaders were trying to improve its quality at a time when there were extremely few Communist workers or peasants who had the general education, journalistic training and experience that editorial work required.(23)

The existing data thus suggest a distinction between the necessary ideological and professional qualifications required of editors and rank-and-file journalists during NEP. Editors (and in large newspapers their immediate assistants) were the most important members of the newspaper staff because they were responsible for the day-to-day character, content, and quality of the press.(24) For this reason, the editor's political reliability - measured in part by Party stazh - was the first criterion of acceptability to the regime, while professional competence was the second. Significantly, these two criteria were both more important than class identity. To a limited extent, and especially in the two capitals, Soviet editors were thus a holdover of the pre-revolutionary style Bolshevik intelligent, a tendency perhaps best exemplified by Nikolai I. Bukharin, Pravda's editor-in-chief. The situation was different, however, for ordinary rank-and-file journalists. For them, political reliability was also important, but since journalists' articles were reviewed by their editors, there was a political control mechanism firmly in place, ready to correct the occasional mistake. On the other hand, minimal levels of technical and professional competence - the ability to write grammatically and coherently and to follow editorial instructions - were more difficult to correct on the editorial level and therefore came to be viewed as extremely desirable for rank-and-file journalists.

That newspapers placed a high value on their journalists' professional capabilities is well-illustrated by Pravda's spirited defense of its Odessa correspondent, a certain Arenberg. The Odessa Party committee had evidently informed Pravda that it intended to replace Arenberg, who was not a Party member, with a Communist. In July 1927 Pravda's secretary wrote back, praising Arenberg as a "very experienced . . . newspaperman" whose stories had never been challenged by any objections or denials. "Thanks to his work," she declared, "the life of Odessa and its inhabitants have been illuminated in a very rich, detailed, and timely manner." Rather than replacing Arenberg, Pravda proposed hiring an additional Communist journalist who would provide the paper with material that the non-Party Arenberg could not supply.(25)

As the decade proceeded rates of Party membership increased for editors but not for journalists. In 1927, 53 provincial newspapers were surveyed and it was discovered that the editors-in-chief and their assistants were all Party members. A great many non-Communists, however, were found to be employed in less sensitive capacities: 45 percent of department heads were non-Party, as were 57 percent of secretaries and a full 97 percent of rank-and-file journalists. On average, the study found that at the surveyed papers there was a four to one ratio of non-Party to Party employees.(26) Another 1927 study surveyed 174 Moscow, Leningrad, and provincial rank-and-file journalists, who were asked if they belonged to the Party or the Komsomol. Almost 80 percent indicated they were affiliated with neither. Only 10 percent of the surveyed journalists were full-fledged Party members, and all of these worked in Moscow or Leningrad.(27)

Neither 1927 survey asked about social origin or social position, but the second did inquire about education. The responses reveal that in Moscow and Leningrad over a third of the queried rank-and-file journalists had begun higher education and almost a quarter had completed it, while practically none had only a primary education. In provincial centers, on the other hand, less than 10 percent of the surveyed journalists had a higher education and almost a third had only a primary education.(28) Because of the general correlation in the 1920s between higher levels of formal education and "bourgeois" class identities, we can tentatively infer that in the two capitals many journalists had sluzhashchie, intelligenty, or "other" class identities while fewer in provincial centers had such origins.

That the situation in 1927 (the last year for which such data have been located) deviated to such an extent from the Bolshevik ideal for political and class identities is explained in part by the regime's failure to train a cadre of journalists who conformed to their ideological vision. This failure is exemplified by an important finding of the second 1927 survey: among twenty-two journalists who had begun work between 1925 and 1927, only one was a Party member and only four were Komsomol members; the remaining seventeen had no affiliation with the Party.(29) Why had not more Communists, workers, and peasants been trained to become journalists?

Training Journalists

The first attempts to train journalists were made in the midst of the Civil War, which helps explain their lack of success. In the fall of 1918 the Moscow Proletkult and Rosta, the Russian Telegraphic Agency, which at the time exercised authority over the press, opened the first Soviet "school of journalism." The school offered lectures by Rosta workers and tried to provide practical training but had no significant impact because it closed only weeks after it opened. The next effort was launched by the First Congress of Soviet Journalists, which was meeting at the time the Proletkult/Rosta school closed. The congress endorsed a three month training course with the capacity to instruct 200 students. Like the other proposals put forth by this congress, however, these plans never came to fruition.(30)

In the spring of 1919 a new training course was planned: specialization in journalism, again supervised by Rosta, was to be part of the newly devised curriculum of the Party Department at Sverdlov Communist University. In the three months devoted to their specialization, journalism students were expected to study the structure of the press, write and edit articles about contemporary politics, prepare reviews of provincial and central newspapers, write up short articles for publication, publish their own student newspaper, and participate in trips to Moscow newspaper offices, editorial boards, and printing presses. The first students were enrolled in July 1919 but because of a lack of qualified teachers received not three but one-and-one-half months of training. Like earlier efforts to train journalists, this venture was short-lived. Only 136 students graduated from the Sverdlov University/Rosta journalism course before it closed in August 1920. While the exact statistical profile of the graduates is unknown, it is clear that Party membership was not required and that workers were a distinct minority.(31)

The flagship of the Soviet efforts to train journalists, the State Institute of Journalism, or GIZh, was founded in the fall of 1921. Part of the Narkompros (Commissariat of Education) system of "professional-technical" education, the institute accepted students from throughout the country and was supposed to train competent press workers and to work out the theoretical foundations of the Soviet system of newspaper propaganda. Originally providing a year of training, by 1923/24 it provided three. The motivation for this rapid extension of the academic curriculum was the realization that it took time to provide would-be journalists with adequate general knowledge and sound ideological and professional training.(32)

The poor academic preparation of a significant proportion of incoming students was a major problem for the institute. In September 1923 GIZh's rector, Novitskii, complained to the Press Subsection of Agitprop about "the extremely low level of general and political educational preparation" of incoming students. Of 124 applicants, all sent to GIZh by Party or professional organizations, the institute had accepted only 81, and of these Novitskii reported that approximately half were accepted out of consideration for the "candidate's social position, his party and newspaper service [stazh]" despite "extremely unsatisfactory" performance on entrance examinations. Novitskii went on to complain that the presence of these unprepared students decreased the institute's ability to teach effectively and had already necessitated the creation of supplementary remedial classes. He explained that the institute had just established minimal standards that students would be required to meet before they could enter their third year of study.(33)

From Novitskii's report we can infer the existence of pressure to admit students with approved class and political identities, even if they were academically ill-prepared. This inference is supported by the available statistical data, which show that while the institute did at this time accept some students with nonsanctioned identities, the trend was toward increased proportions of workers, peasants, and Party affiliation. In 1921, 71 percent of incoming students were Party or Komsomol affiliated; in 1922 and 1923, over 90 percent were. Similarly, in 1921 a full 80 percent of the incoming students were from the intelligentsia, but in 1922 and 1923 the figure was 51 percent.(34) The trend toward increased enrollment of students with approved class and political identities continued to grow stronger with time.

Early in 1924 the Central Committee directed that GIZh become a Communist Institution of Higher Education (Komvuz); Agitprop and the newly created Press Department of the Central Committee oversaw the transformation, which came into effect during the 1924/25 academic year.(35) The institute's admission standards now became more restrictive. Official announcements specified that applicants should be at least twenty-one years old, healthy, have a minimum of one year of press-related work experience, and have been a Party member for three years or a Komsomol member for three years and a Party member for one year. Rabsel'kory were especially encouraged to apply. As for class identity, the new policy was unambiguous: "only workers and peasants are accepted as students at GIZh . . . intelligenty and sluzhashchie will not be accepted."(36)

GIZh later announced that in 1924, 72 percent of its 51 incoming students had worker origins and the remaining were of peasant origin.(37) Even if these figures are accepted as accurate (which is questionable since archival data for subsequent years show the institute admitting non-worker and non-peasant applicants) the fact that first year enrollments dropped from 81 students in 1923 to 51 students in 1924 suggests that the institute tried to maintain its academic standards by not enrolling totally unqualified students with sanctioned identities, even though it was now unable to admit academically qualified students with unacceptable identities. The institute's continuing institutional commitment to academic standards is also suggested by its application forms, which, despite the changes in eligibility requirements, still asked applicants about their education and required a sample newspaper story.(38)

In addition to its regular three-year curriculum, in 1924 GIZh also offered two short "retraining courses."(39) Party membership was not a prerequisite for these courses, probably because they were sponsored and paid for by the journalists' labor association, which considered "retraining" committed journalists, whatever their Party status, part of its "cultural work."(40) The students who attended the retraining courses were a diverse group with no standard profile, except that all but one were currently employed by a newspaper, most often a provincial paper. Some students had already worked in a variety of responsible positions in newspapers, Party committees, or Rosta. Others were translators or had worked only as reporters. A few had worked for the pre-revolutionary "bourgeois" press or the revolutionary underground press, but most had begun to work in journalism after the revolution. A substantial minority of the students - 30 percent in February 1924 and 26 percent in October 1924 - were neither Party nor Komsomol members or candidates. Taken together, the student body of the two evening courses included equal numbers of persons whose "social origin" were worker or peasant, on the one hand, and sluzhashchii and intelligentsia, on the other.(41) Enrollment patterns in GIZh's evening division thus suggest that even in 1924, when the institute's newly espoused objective as a Komvuz was to develop a cadre of responsible and competent Communist journalists, and when entrance requirements for the first time officially excluded non-Communists, intelligenty, and sluzhashchie from the day division, GIZh nevertheless still was an educational institution whose primary purpose was to train its students, even those lacking sanctioned political and class identities, to become competent professional journalists able to improve the nation's newspapers.

Beginning in the fall of 1925, there was a steadfast attempt to increase the number of GIZh students with long Party tenures and genuine proletarian and peasant identities. From 1925/26 on, only Party organizations could nominate students for matriculation into GIZh.(42) For the 1926/27 academic year, the earlier requirement that applicants have one year of press-related work experience was transformed into a requirement that they have "not less than three years' experience of physical labor in industry or agriculture." Among people currently working as journalists, the preference was supposed to be for those who initially had been rabsel'kory. As for Party stazh, three years remained the standard, with two years now required for former Komsomol members.(43) In 1927/28, a three-year Party stazh was required of all applicants, with no special dispensation for former Komsomol members. At the same time, an increased emphasis was placed on ideological preparation - incoming students now had to pass examinations in political economy, Party history, and the history of the class struggle in Europe and Russia.(44) For 1928/29 and 1929/30, admission requirements appear to have remained unchanged.(45)

Despite the increasingly exclusive admission standards, students who did not meet GIZh's official entrance criteria continued to be admitted. Of 108 students matriculating into the first-year course in 1925/26, 29 percent had less than one year Party stazh - the required minimum for former Komsomol members - while the "social position" of 27 percent was neither worker nor peasant.(46) Of the 80 students matriculating in 1926/27, 28 percent had less than a two year Party stazh - the new minimum for former Komsomol members - while the "social position" of 26 percent was neither worker nor peasant.(47) Thus, over one quarter of incoming students in 1925/26 and 1926/27 did not meet official requirements for Party stazh and over one quarter had class identities that were officially proscribed.

In February 1927 an unsigned report explored the difficulties GIZh was encountering as it tried to fill its classes with Communist workers and peasants. With regard to the length of its students' Party affiliation, the report conceded that "the situation . . . is not wholly propitious for the institute" and recommended that the institute "hold a firm course for longtime Party members" and, in particular, for students with five or more years of Party membership, no longer admitting under any circumstances students with less than three years' Party stazh. With regard to the social composition of the student body, which it fixed at 43 percent worker, 19 percent peasant, and 38 percent sluzhashchie and "other," the report intoned "the necessity of increasing the cadre of workers." But then it went on to argue that in the near future the proportion of sluzhashchie at GIZh would in all probability remain unusually high for a Komvuz because of the high proportion of incoming students who had already begun to work as journalists and who thus were categorized as sluzhashchie. The report argued that this tendency hindered the institute's ability to increase the matriculation rate of persons with sanctioned class identities.(48) This report is significant both because it points to the institute's awareness of the "problem of class identity" and because it indicates that in 1927 the determination of the "social position" and thus the class identity of applicants to GIZh was not decided by an applicant's status in 1917 or at the time of joining the Party, but by his or her occupational status at the time of application. It seems likely that one reason for this practice was the youth of the applicants - many had been mere children at the time of the revolution.(49)

In what seems to have been an attempt to address the problem of unacceptably high levels of students with non-sanctioned class identities, in 1927/28 GIZh began to differentiate in at least some of its statistics between a student's "social position" (sotsial'noe polozhenie) and his or her "social origin" (sotsial'noe proiskhozhdenie).(50) It is reasonable to suppose that the statisticians expected the new data to reveal that many applicants categorized as sluzhashchie because they were working as journalists had been born into the working class or peasantry. This did, in fact, turn out to be the case. While the "social position" of 32 percent of the 75 students matriculating into the first-year course in 1927/28 was sluzhashchii, only 29 percent of these had sluzhashchie "social origins." But, according to these same data, GIZh had accepted a higher percentage of students with proscribed class identities in 1927/28 than it had in 1925/26 or 1926/27 - 32 percent as opposed to 27 and 26 percent, respectively. A similar increase was also in evidence in the percentage of incoming students who had less than the required Party stazh - 32 percent in 1927/28, as opposed to 29 percent in 1925/26 and 28 percent in 1926/27.(51)

Despite the new statistical device, the pressure on GIZh to train genuine workers and peasants remained strong. In response, GIZh's assistant rector, Simkhovich, argued in a November 1927 report to the Press Department that successive years' entrants showed an increased proportion of workers and a decreased proportion of sluzhashchie. The institute, he stressed, was achieving the "workerization" (orabochivanie) of its student body.(52) In fact, however, when juxtaposed to other data, the figures Simkhovich cites are actually much better evidence for a quite different phenomenon - higher attrition rates for workers and peasants than for sluzhashchie. For instance, while workers and peasants constituted 46 percent and 27 percent, respectively, of first-year entrants in the fall of 1925, by November 1927, when these students were in their third year of study, they constituted only 34 percent and 14 percent of their class, while the proportion of sluzhashchie increased from 27 to 52 percent. The problem of ill-prepared matriculating students, about which Novitskii had complained in 1923, continued to plague the institute. The high rate of attrition among peasants and workers - always the least well prepared among Soviet students - suggests, however, that GIZh had not wholly abandoned its academic standards despite the pressure to "workerize" its student body. Furthermore, while the data do indicate an increased presence of workers in the later years, they also show that this was achieved at the expense not of sluzhashchie but of peasants, suggesting that even as the institute sought to "workerize" its student body, it was loath to lose its best students.(53)

For the 1928/29 academic year, the percentage of entering students who did not meet official entrance requirements dropped slightly, most notably with respect to Party stazh. Of the 69 students entering their first year of studies, only 17 percent had a Party stazh of less than the required three years. The "social position" of the entrants was 28 percent sluzhashchii, with 26 percent of the sluzhashchie having "social origins" in the working class or peasantry."(54) The trend toward acceptable class identities continued in 1929/30, when only 15 percent of incoming students were identified as sluzhashchie.(55) It thus appears that as NEP ended and the Cultural Revolution picked up momentum, GIZh was beginning to achieve the goal, originally stated in 1924, of providing journalistic training to workers and peasants with established Party credentials.

The statistical profile of students entering GIZh's editorial division (which was separated from the "basic course" in the fall of 1927) is significantly different. Students entering the first year of the editorial division were overwhelmingly longstanding Party members and neither workers nor peasants. The resemblance to the statistical profile of employed editors is conspicuous. In both 1927/28 and 1928/29 (the only years for which data are available), not only did editorial division students all have the required three years Party stazh, 80 percent had been Party members since 1921 or before. With respect to class identity, in 1927/28, 72 percent of entering editorial students were sluzhashchie or intelligenty by "social position," and only 28 percent of these had proletarian or peasant "social origins." In 1928/29, 61 percent of entering editorial students were sluzhashchie or intelligenty by "social position," and 33 percent of these had worker or peasant "social origins."(56) When compared to the statistical profile of non-editorial students, the students entering the editorial division had longer Party tenures and were much more likely to have non-worker and non-peasant "social positions" and "social origins."

The picture that emerges for the end of NEP is thus of a press corps in which non-proletarians and non-peasants predominated and Party membership was a prerequisite only for editors. Among students of journalism at GIZh, Party membership was required but not all students had Party tenures of the officially required length. Journalism students were more likely than working journalists to be from the working class or peasantry. Nevertheless, substantial proportions of GIZh students, especially in the editorial division, were sluzhashchie or intelligenty by "social position" and a substantial minority of these had sluzhashchie or intelligentsia "social origins."

Statistical profiles of both employed journalists and journalism students thus suggest that in the 1920s there was a significant discrepancy between officially sanctioned political and class identities and actual hiring and enrollment practices. The best explanation for this incongruity is the existence of a commitment to improve the technical proficiency and professional expertise of the people producing the Soviet press. GIZh was unable to attract enough qualified students of the desired types and therefore admitted students who did not meet the official entrance criteria but had a demonstrated interest in and aptitude for journalism. There is evidence of this same commitment to quality in GIZh's curriculum and in the institute's efforts to improve it.

Modifying the Curriculum

Throughout the 1920s, GIZh's curriculum was in a state of flux. When it first opened in 1921, the institute employed nine professors, including "bourgeois specialists" who taught psychology, linguistics, and the history and technique of the newspaper business. GIZh also employed twenty-nine occasional lecturers, primarily Party functionaries and newspaper editors, who gave lectures on such topics as the history of Bolshevism and the development of the Soviet press.(57) The initial course of studies was one year, but in the fall of 1922 the institute was reorganized and its program was extended to two years because, as Novitskii explained, the administration had concluded that "the Marxist and professional preparation of graduates of the one year program was insufficient." Soon, even two years of study was deemed inadequate. In the summer of 1923 the administration proposed extending the program an additional year "in the interest of the correct arrangement of the higher professional education of press workers." The change was implemented for the 1923/24 school year, at which point the institute was also reorganized into an Institution of Higher Education (VUZ).(58)

For 1924/25, GIZh was transformed into a specialized Communist Institution of Higher Education (Komvuz). Students at GIZh now studied journalism in addition to the standardized nationwide Komvuz curriculum. During the regular school year GIZh students listened to lectures on general, ideological, professional, and technical subjects; during their "vacations" they held apprentice positions at national and local newspapers.(59) During their first year of study, little of the students' coursework was directly connected to journalism; instead, attention was focused on the natural sciences, mathematics, the Russian language, world and Russian history and literature, and "political-economic geography." As they progressed in the program, students began to devote more time to journalistic studies. They studied the Western European and American press, "the history of the workers' press," as well as technical subjects, such as layout, "obtaining and working up stories," and "the reproduction process."(60) The relative lack of emphasis on ideological subjects such as Marxism and "Party work" is noteworthy. Of the institute's fifty-one teachers, thirteen were engaged in teaching "specialized newspaper subjects," while "philosophical Marxism" and "Party work" were each taught by only two individuals.(61)

At a forum held in 1925, the institute's pedagogy and curriculum were criticized from a variety of perspectives which, taken together, aptly illustrate the tension that existed between the conflicting demands for professionalism and ideologically sanctioned student identities. At the forum, Iakov M. Shafir, author of a comprehensive study of the provincial press, complained that journalists being trained to staff peasant papers were insufficiently schooled in agronomy, which, he said, should be a prime focus of these papers. Shafir also declared that all papers did such a poor job analyzing important international events that they could not but confuse poorly educated workers and peasants. Aleksandr Kurs, a teacher at GIZh, argued that since information was the essence of the newspaper, all journalists should be trained first and foremost as reporters and should begin their careers by actually working as reporters, as was the common practice in the West. Levidov, another teacher, criticized the poor quality of the Soviet press network and urged students to devote themselves to mastering the universal techniques of newspaper journalism. Though their perspectives differed, these speakers were all subjected to scathing criticism for holding up the "bourgeois" press as worthy of emulation (Shafir even urged sending selected journalism students to study abroad), and for emphasizing the importance of improved journalistic technique as the key to improving the Soviet press.

Other participants argued that the class identity of a newspaper's staff was the most important consideration. For example, Alimov, a student from Central Asia, declared, "If you want to prepare editors for peasant newspapers, you should bring peasants to [study at] GIZh, since every peasant understands the interests of peasants better than an agronomist." Others argued that although "technique" was in fact important, there was no way it could be taught in the classroom. Only when students actually began to work in a newspaper office would they learn how to become journalists. GIZh's new rector, Niurenberg, endorsed this scorn for formal instruction and emphasized the importance of class identites. He argued that although the theory of the Soviet press was still in its infancy, it already was apparent that the participation of journalists who formerly had been rabsel'kory was the single most important characteristic of the Soviet press. According to Niurenberg, GIZh's mission was to train rabsel'kory to become effective journalists.(62)

Although the issues brought up during the forum were not resolved by it, the airing of such multifaceted discontent may have helped catalyze a shift in GIZh's pedagogic strategy. During the 1925/26 school year, GIZh extended the practice of promoting practical work experience to the entire curriculum, adopting a "laboratory plan of academic work" that embodied the "smychka of theory and practice." Courses were now organized in two-week segments in which students worked in laboratory/class rooms trying to solve assigned "problems" on their own, taking no work home and initiating contact with the teaching staff only when they, the students, so desired. Lectures were relegated to introductory explanations of the problems to be solved. Apparently this system was not without its problems, for sentiment among much of the GIZh faculty and administration soon favored another overhaul of the curriculum.(63)

In a report written prior to the beginning of the 1926/27 school year, Simkhovich described the problems facing the institute and proposed an old solution - extend the term of study. According to Simkhovich, the fact that the standard Komvuz curriculum took approximately 60 percent of the students' time left insufficient time for the mastery of journalistic skills, a problem that was compounded by the generally poor academic preparation of the majority of GIZh's students, especially those from the working class and peasantry. As Simkhovich explained, even with the strictest selection procedures, the "social composition of our students is such that in the near future . . . we will not be able to obtain people who are completely literate." While this difficulty afflicted all institutions of higher education, it was especially serious for GIZh, since its purpose was "to turn out journalists, that is, people who . . . are skillfully literate, literary, and who can quickly set forth their thoughts." Insufficient attention to the journalistic portion of the curriculum would mean graduating students who were "without a sufficient grasp of press issues and the newspaper business," while insufficient attention to the standard Komvuz curriculum was also unacceptable because it would mean turning out journalists who lacked "social-political knowledge" and were able neither to edit a newspaper nor to write a "literate" article.(64) The solution was to add a fourth year of study. According to Simkhovich, this change would facilitate the integration of the standard Komvuz curriculum, specialized journalistic coursework, and hands-on training in a variety of journalistic capacities (organizing rabsel'kory, working for the Press Department, working as reporters and editorial assistants for both provincial and central newspapers). The various aspects of the enlarged curriculum would supplement each other and would produce journalists who were well-qualified to staff the nation's press network.(65)

The idea of once again lengthening the term of study was appealing precisely because it seemed to offer a way out of the conundrum of how to balance the conflicting imperatives that GIZh sought to satisfy. The proposal was approved by the Press Department,(66) which in March 1925 had itself unsuccessfully proposed adding a fourth year of study to GIZh's curriculum, but the proposal was not, in fact, implemented. One probable reason for this lack of implementation, in 1926 as in 1925, was the high cost associated with adding a year to GIZh's academic program. As Sergei Kanatchikov, the newly appointed rector of GIZh and the head of the Press Department, admitted in his March 1925 report to the Secretariat arguing for the "necessity" of revamping GIZh's curriculum and enlarging its student body, the huge sum of money needed to carry out the proposed changes would be "very burdensome for Narkompros."(67)

Thus, in 1926/27, as in 1925/26, GIZh retained its three-year curriculum. For the 1926/27 academic year the institute did, however, abandon the "laboratory approach" and attempt to produce in a three-year format the same integration of general, ideological, and technical coursework with on-site training that had been the rationale for the proposed four-year curriculum.(68) One suspects that, at least in Simkhovich's opinion, the results were not completely successful. An unsigned report written in February 1927 reiterated the argument that too many students were academically unprepared and could not be transformed into capable journalists in just three years. The report again suggested adding a year to GIZh's program.(69) This recommendation was once again ignored, but for the 1927/28 academic year GIZh's curriculum did undergo a major reorganization.(70)

The curriculum was now divided into five distinct academic programs. A small number of the most qualified students - sixteen in the fall of 1927 - were enrolled in a special two-year program intended to produce editors of major provincial papers. An even smaller group - four in the fall of 1927 - were enrolled in a program designed to train teachers of journalism for provincial schools of journalism and Komvuzy. The institute also established a separate program for students from the country's non-Russian regions (since 1926 newspapers had been written in the language of the indigenous population and this policy had created a need for bilingual journalists). In addition, a new evening program was begun. Most students, however, continued to study in the "basic course," which remained a three-year program that was supposed to train the professional mainstay of the Soviet press - secretaries, heads of departments, journalists, and editors of medium- and small-circulation newspapers.(71) The "basic course" retained the essentials of the 1926/27 curriculum until the institute was completely overhauled in 1930 and 1931.

Transforming the Institute of Journalism

In April 1930 Kurs published an article in which he referred to an ongoing "review of the academic plan and discussion of the question of practical training and methods of teaching" at GIZh. As part of this discussion, Kurs later argued that in order to improve the quality of its graduates GIZh needed to modify its curriculum, have its instructors specialize in teaching a single subject, and create a "newspaper laboratory" in which students could learn the techniques of actually putting a newspaper together. As in his contribution to the 1925 discussion about GIZh's curriculum, Kurs stressed the importance of "information" as the foundation of all types of newspapers, "bourgeois" and Communist, and recommended the study of the "bourgeois theory of information." He argued that information was an essential ingredient of Russia's press because the Soviet newspaper "organizes, agitates, propagandizes, teaches, educates, recasts a person on the basis of information."(72) Kurs' ideas were met with various refutations, the most significant of which was by GIZh's new rector, Filov, who argued that whereas Kurs focused on teaching "the form of newspaper work," it was the "content" that really mattered. According to Filov, Kurs' approach would produce "narrow technical specialists" while the proposed newspaper laboratory was inferior to apprenticing students to real newspapers.(73) Filov's response to Kurs prefigured the upcoming metamorphosis of GIZh's curriculum and organization.

Beginning in the summer of 1930, the tenor and character of journalism training in Soviet Russia changed. Referring to the press's increased value as a means "of mobilizing the masses for socialist construction," the Sixteenth Party Congress resolved that the Central Committee should "take measures toward the further improvement of the press and increasing its role in the expansion of the socialist offensive."(74) In August the Central Committee issued a decree that criticized Party committees for inadequate attention to the training and retraining of journalists and editors and, in particular, for the inadequate promotion of rabsel'kory into responsible positions on newspaper editorial boards. The entire system of journalistic training was to be reorganized. Henceforth, the Communist Academy was to prepare editors and journalists for the largest and most influential newspapers, while GIZh, which was renamed the Communist Institute of Journalism (KIZh), was to train journalists and editors for mid-level papers and to supervise the general retraining of employed journalists. As part of the new system, KIZh was informed that its students should be spending one third of their time in practical exercises - that is, working as apprentice journalists.(75)

One aspect of KIZh's transformation was a major increase in its size. In the second half of the 1920s, GIZh's student body had increased gradually but had never reached 300.(76) The new plans called for major increases - to 750 students by the end of 1931 and to over 1,000 by the end of 1932.(77) Another aspect of the transformation was the changed character of the student body. In the fall of 1930 the Central Committee appealed to lower-level Party committees to select for matriculation at KIZh "genuine Party-vydvizhentsy [workers and peasants promoted from the shop floor and fields] who have proved their worth in mass Party work in the struggle for the general line of the Party." Rabsel'kory and udarniki (shock workers) were to form the primary cadre of the new student body. In order to help prepare these future journalists for their studies at KIZh, they were told to begin preparatory academic studies as soon as they were accepted for matriculation.(78) The new propensity toward training only tested Party cadres was further reinforced when it was announced that beginning in the spring of 1932, a full five years' Party stazh would be required of incoming KIZh students.(79)

While Party committees were being asked to select and prepare a substantially new student body, KIZh's curriculum was being criticized and altered. According to the Central Committee, KIZh devoted too little attention to Marxism-Leninism and too much to general education and to the techniques of newspaper journalism, which was taught in a "typically 'theoretical' bourgeois" manner.(80) Consequently, coverage of Marxism-Leninism was to be increased while that of the "general educational disciplines" decreased.(81) After an initial year of multidisciplinary study, which included much Marx, Lenin, and Stalin, students were to be trained for employment in a particular region - for instance, for a paper intended for a new industrial center, for miners in the Donbass, or for a steppe region of collective farms. In addition, in the course of their studies students were now to gain practical knowledge of the country's press network, at the same time that they helped to improve it, by reviewing lower-level newspapers and sending their comments to the Central Committee.(82)

Although the details remain unclear, apparently there was some resistance to the proposed changes. In December 1930 and January 1931 Filov wrote increasingly distraught memos to the Cultural-Propaganda Committee of the Central Committee (Kul'tprop). The memos referred to "the political struggles within KIZh" and appealed for promised cadres from the Institute of Red Professors, who were supposed to help teach the newly mandated courses in political economy and dialectical materialism as well as root out resistance to the new curriculum.(83) By February 1931 the reorganization had been completed and the recalcitrant teachers removed. Among those dismissed were M. Gus, who in 1926 and again in 1928 had defended non-party journalists, and Kurs, whose longstanding commitment to the primacy of information in journalism was now labeled "formalism."(84)

Kurs provides a good example of the type of teacher who was no longer wanted at the institute. Prior to teaching at GIZh he had been editor of Sovetskaia Sibir' and was considered "one of the best Soviet editors" because his paper, which was "read eagerly not only in its own area but in others as well," "posed interesting problems, carried good sketches, feuilletons and articles and contained original reports and art reviews."(85) In 1924 Kurs was dismissed from Sovetskaia Sibir' for his deviations from the Party's anti-Trotsky line and was denounced by the Second All Union Conference of Rabsel'kory. He was nonetheless named editor of Zhurnalist, the journalists' professional publication, and invited to teach at GIZh.(86) One may surmise that both of these appointments resulted from Kurs' reputation as an excellent journalist, an achievement which must have been valued highly to supersede his obvious political liabilities. During his five years at GIZh, Kurs distinguished himself as an outspoken proponent of professionalism in journalism. In 1926 he made an impassioned plea for the inclusion of literature and poetry in Soviet newspapers, arguing that including them would raise the overall quality of the press and introduce the masses to high calibre writing while enlarging their cultural domain.(87) In 1925 and again in 1930 he spoke out in favor of strengthening GIZh's curriculum in order to produce better qualified graduates, both times emphasizing "information" as the foundation of the press and the bedrock of journalism.(88) Kurs' emphasis on culture, technique, and information was out of step with the emerging Stalinist press, and by 1931 his employment at Russia's leading school of journalism was untenable.

At the same time that its curriculum was being recast and selected teachers fired, KIZh kept asking Kul'tprop to remove it from Narkompros' jurisdiction and transfer it to that of the Central Executive Committee of the USSR's Education Committee.(89) The transfer was finally accomplished in the summer of 1931, when KIZh was also designated a Komvuz "of All-Union significance," which accorded it higher prestige and more resources.(90) The change in status was important because - as a June 1931 report pointed out - a substantially larger student body generated the need for more money for student stipends as well as for greater classroom, library, and dormitory space. Construction, the report stated, had been ordered but very little had been accomplished, and it would be impossible to fulfill the Central Committee's instructions unless the physical means to do so existed.(91)

How did KIZh's institutional transformation affect the statistical profile of its student body? Unfortunately, data about such developments are scant. For' instance, no data are available about the Party stazh of matriculating students. Nevertheless, the available data do suggest that increasing proportions of KIZh students had sanctioned class identities. Whereas in 1927/28, 33 percent of KIZh's collective student body reportedly had sluzhashchie or "other" class identities, in 1930/31 the figure had already dropped to 28 percent.(92) Furthermore, in 1931/32, only 4 percent of incoming students were identified as sluzhashchie, and a full 69 percent were said to be working class.(93)

Thus, as the Soviet Union entered the final year of the First Five-Year Plan, students at KIZh were more likely than ever before to be workers or peasants and, most likely, also to be longtime Party members. This shift in student identity is not surprising - it had been the institute's stated goal since 1924, and analogous transformations were occurring simultaneously at other educational institutions.(94) It is nonetheless important that the Soviet Union's flagship school of journalism, an institute always intended to prepare trustworthy Communists to run the powerful mass press, continued to train non-proletarians and nonpeasants to become journalists and editors long after it ostensibly had embarked upon the policy of "workerization." The discrepancy between articulated goals and actual practices shows that during NEP and the early years of the First Five-Year Plan the desire for journalists who possessed correct class identities had not yet overwhelmed the desire for competent professionals. This commitment to professional journalism suggests that during NEP Soviet journalists possessed a multi-faceted corporate identity and that the Soviet press was not only a mechanism for disseminating propaganda.

Department of History Waterville, ME 04901-8853


Research for this article was supported by the International Research and Exchanges Board (IREX), the Kennan Instititue for Advanced Russian Studies, the Regents of the University of California, and Colby College.

1. See, for example, Marc Jaryc, Press and Publishing in the USSR (London, 1935); Eugene Lyons, Assignment in Utopia (New York, 1937); Alex Inkeles, Public Opinion in Soviet Russia (Cambridge, MA, 1950), 135-222 and passim; Wilbur Schramm, "The Soviet Communist Theory of the Press," in Frederick Siebert, ed., Four Theories of the Press (Urbana, 1956); Alex Inkeles and Raymond Bauer, The Soviet Citizen (Cambridge, MA, 1959), 159-188; Theodore Kruglak, The Two Faces of TASS (New York, 1963); Antony Buzek, How the Communist Press Works (London, 1964); Mark Hopkins, Mass Media in the Soviet Union (New York, 1970); Angus Roxburgh, Pravda: Inside the Soviet News Machine (London, 1987).

2. The most important recently published works concerning the early Soviet press are Peter Kenez, The Birth of the Propaganda State: Soviet Methods of Mass Mobilization, 1917-29 (Cambridge, 1985), 21-49, 224-239; Jeffrey Brooks, "Public and Private Values in the Soviet Press, 1921-1928," Slavic Review, vol. 45, no. 1 (Spring 1989): 16-36; idem, "Revolutionary Lives: Public Identities in Pravda during the 1920s," in Stephen White, ed., New Directions in Soviet History (Cambridge, 1991), 27-40. Three Ph.D. dissertations also merit attention. See Charles Sampson, "The Formative Years of the Soviet Press: An Institutional History, 1917-1924" (Ph.D. diss, University of Massachusetts, 1970); Stephen Coe, "Peasants, the State and the Languages of NEP: the Rural Correspondents Movement in the Soviet Union, 1924-28" (Ph.D. diss., University of Michigan, 1993); and Jennifer Clibbon, "The Soviet Press and Grass-Roots Organization: The Rabkor Movement, NEP to the First Five Year Plan" (Ph.D. diss., University of Toronto, 1993). Among these studies, only the dissertations by Coe and Clibbon make use of archival sources.

3. See, for example, Anatolii V. Lunacharskii, "Zadachi proletarskoi pechati," Vestnik Moskovskogo Universiteta: Zhurnalistika, 1968, no. 2: 81-82, for a 1921 speech in which the Commissar of Enlightenment says that the press must become "encyclopedic" and "an organ of popular scientific knowledge" in order to educate the peasantry; Illarion V. Vardin [Mgeladze], Sovetskaia pechat': sobornik statei (Moscow, 1924), 59-60, for a declaration by the head of the Press Subsection of Agitprop that the press "should lead a tireless, relentless struggle against bureaucracy, red tape, bureaucratic despotism, petty tyrany, boorishness"; and Nikolai I. Bukharin, O rabkore i sel'kore (stat'i i rechi), 2nd ed. (Moscow, 1926), 68-69 for a 1924 declaration by the editor-in-chief of Pravda and the Party's chief theorist that the newspaper-sponsored rabsel'kor movement was valuable because it was the only means by which ordinary non-Party workers and peasants could freely communicate with the authorities. See also Julie Kay Mueller, "Soviet Journalists: Cadres or Professionals?" Russian History/Histoire Russe, 23, nos. 1-4: 278-279.

4. Mueller, "Soviet Journalists," 280-286. It is important to distinguish between leaders of the press corps and "journalists." Press corps' leaders clearly were Party cadres - they moved from one area of responsibility to another and their leadership of the press was most often one of several areas of responsibility or shortlived. Journalists and editors, on the other hand, were engaged in the day-to-day production of newspapers and this work was their primary vocation. It is with this second category of individuals that I am concerned.

5. Illarion V. Vardin [Mgeladze], "Nasha periodicheskaia pechat'," Pechat'i revoliutsiia, Nov./Dec. 1921: 134-135; quotations: 135.

6. RTsKhIDNI f. 17, op. 60, d. 924, 1. 29. RTsKHIDNI f. 17, op. 60 is the archive of Agitprop, which contained a Press Subsection from 1922 to 1924.

7. K[onstantin] Novitskii, "Zhurnalizm kak professiia i professional'noe obrazovanie," Zhurnalist, no. 4, Feb. 1923: 19.

8. Vardin, Sovetskaia pechat', 43-44.

9. Ibid., 35.

10. "Disput o sovetskoi zhurnalistike," Zhurnalist, 1925, no. 6/7: 40.

11. Lunacharskii, "Zadachi proletarskoi pechati," 81.

12. O, "O reportere i ego kvalifikatsii," Krasnaia pechat', 10 June 1925, no. 14: 35.

13. According to Sheila Fitzpatrick, the Bolsheviks based their determination of a person's social position, the most important determinant of class identity, "on social origin and occupation in 1917, or . . . at the moment of joining the Bolshevik Party." Thus the "social position" of an employed journalist or student of journalism could be "worker" or "peasant" even though that individual currently worked in neither factory nor field, but in an office or classroom. One difficulty with this system stemmed from the serious political and economic consequences of particular class identities, which gave many ordinary people ample reason to try to disguise their personal histories. Cases of individuals lying about their backgrounds were not uncommon, but more perplexing were the cases of individuals who had mixed or indeterminate identities. The few social categories that the Bolsheviks used, which were derived from their Leninist adaptation of Marxism, corresponded very imperfectly to NEP society, which was complex and in flux. As Fitzpatrick notes, "social origins (proiskhozhdenie) and prerevolutionary occupation did not always coincide," as when a "worker" was born into the peasantry and spent his childhood in a village. The incongruity became even more serious if that worker became a Party cadre. Fitzpatrick writes that such an individual would still be considered "proletarian," but in the case of journalists and journalism students this does not always appear to have been the case. Questionnaires and institutional reports concerning journalists follow no standard pattern with respect to the determination of class identity - some report "social origin" (sotsial'noe proiskhozhdenie), others "social position" (sotsial'hoe polozhenie), some both, and in some cases it is unclear exactly what is being reported. The lack of a standardized approach suggests that during the 1920s conceptions about what determined class identity were not yet firmly established. Of course, a person's class identity was not necessarily an accurate indicator of his or her political orientation, especially for members of the intelligentsia, among whom the relationship between class identity and political consciousness was especially problematic. (Sheila Fitzpatrick, "The Problem of Class Identity in NEP Society," in Russia in the Era of NEP, ed. Sheila Fitzpatrick, Alexander Rabinowitch, and Richard Stites [Bloomington, 1991], 16; see also Daniel Orlovsky, "The Hidden Class: White Collar Workers in the Soviet 1920s" in Making Workers Soviet, ed. Lewis Siegelbaum and Ronald Suny [Ithaca, 1994], 222-223.)

14. Analogous problems existed for other educated and professional groups in Soviet society. For engineers and technical personnel, see Kendall E. Bailes, Technology and Society Under Lenin and Stalin (Princeton, 1978), 188-201 and Nicholas Lampert, The Technical Intelligentsia and the Soviet State (New York, 1979), 68-79. For educators and higher education policy, see Michael S. Fox, "The Higher Party Schools: Education, Politics and the Transformation of Intellectual Life in the Soviet Union, 1921-1929" (Ph.D. diss., Yale University, 1993), 114-128 and Mark S. Johnson, "Russian Educators, the Stalinist Party-State and the Politics of Education, 1929-1939" (Ph.D. diss., Columbia University, 1995), 31-42. For lawyers, see Eugene Huskey, Russian Lawyers and she Soviet State (Princeton, 1986), 95-120, 160-168; for judges and procurators, see Peter H. Solomon, Jr, Soviet Criminal Justice under Stalin (Cambridge, 1995), 34-38. For architects, see Lori A. Citti, "Moscow Architects and Professional Accommodation to Soviet Power: Defining the Limits of Professional Authority, 1867-1930" (Ph.D. diss., Indiana University, 1994), 224-225,308-311.

15. N. A. Bryliakov, "ROSTA i podgotovka zhurnalistskikh kadrov," Sovetskaia zhurnalistika. Istoriia, traditsii, opyt. vol. I (1973): 14-15; Konstantin P. Novitskii, "Gazetnoe delo, kak predmet prepodavaniia," Zhurnalist, 1922, no. 1: 25; L. G. Svitich, "Zhurnalisty dvadsatykh godov," Vestnik Moskovskogo universiteta: zhurnalistika, 1973, no. 6: 42-43.

16. A. Ernst, "Pechat' Leninskoi partii," Krasnaia pechat', 1 Aug. 1924, no. 24/25: 14. A total of 232 central and provincial papers were surveyed. The proportion of non-Party to Party journalists was higher in Moscow (2.3 to 1) than in provincial centers (1.3 to 1).

17. GARF f. 5566, op. 2, d. 113, l. 4. GARF f. 5566 is the archive of the Central Bureau of the Section of Press Workers.

18. Vardin, Sovetskaia pechat', 43.

19. Ernst, "Pechat'," 12. Of the 208 editors surveyed, eight said they were not Party members and twelve gave no information.

20. Ibid., 13-14. The Press Department surveyed 237 editors; 11 percent gave no information, 6 percent were non-Party, three percent were Party candidates or Komsomol members.

21. I.M. Vareikis, ed., Pechat' SSSR k XIV s"ezdu RKP(b) (Moscow, 1926), 10.

22. Svitich, "Zhurnalisty dvadsatykh godov," 49-50. According to Svitich, 232 newspapers were surveyed in 1924 and 102 were surveyed in 1925. Ernst confirms the figure of 38% for 1924 (Ernst, "Pechat'," 14).

23. Of course, individuals who lacked sanctioned political and class identities but who possessed needed skills and knowledge were also employed in various other capacities, such as engineering, industrial production, state administration, and education. What makes the existence of such persons among journalists and editors especially significant is that it mitigates against the identification of the Soviet press with Bolshevik propaganda, since employing ideologically suspect "bourgeois specialists" to propagate regime sponsored ideology would be highly problematic.

24. The editor's domain of responsibility is inferred from day-to-day office routines and from the absence of a Glavlit employee, i.e., a censor, in newspaper editorial offices. In addition, A. Kotlyar, a Soviet journalist who emigrated after World War II, states that before 1930 the 'editor himself assumed responsibility for the political line in the newspaper." (A. Kotlyar [pseud], "Newspapers in the USSR: Recollections and Observations of a Soviet Journalist," translation of a Ukrainian manuscript [Research Program on the USSR, Bakhmeteff Archive, Columbia University, no date], 73.)

25. RTsKhIDNI f. 14, op. 1, d. 41, ll. 13-13-ob. The letter is marked "secret" and "personal." RTsKhIDNI f. 14 is the archive of the newspaper Pravda.

26. A. Marinskii, "Kak byt's bespartiinymi zhurnalistami?" Zhurnalist, April 1928, no. 4: 9.

27. A. Marinskii, "Nashi reportery," Krasnaia pechat', July 1927, no. 14: 22. Eight Moscow-based, four Leningrad-based, and six provincial papers' journalists were asked to fill out questionnaires; 174 individuals responded, 28 of whom were provincial press workers.

28. Ibid., 23.

29. Ibid., 22.

30. V. Z. Privalov, "Ot 'shkoly zhurnalizma' do 'fakul'teta zhurnalistiki'," Vestnik Moskovskogo universiteta: zhurnalistika, Series 10, 1982:10-11.

31. Bryliakov, "ROSTA i podgotovka zhurnalistskikh kadrov," 20-21; Privalov, "Ot shkoly zhurnalizma," 12, 14. According to Bryliakov, it was reported at a May 1920 meeting of The All-Russian Congress of Rosta Workers that there had been a total of 70 graduates from the first three classes: 17 graduates were workers, 25 were professional journalists, and 36 were specialists of other types. The report also stated that among those who took the course there were 48 Communists, 20 sympathizers, 3 Komsomol members, and 3 non-Party persons. The arithmetic sum of neither of these groups of figures is 70, and no explanation of the discrepancies is given.

32. V. Khashchenko, "Griadushchie rezervy zhurnalistiki," Krasnaia pechat', 1 Dec. 1923, no. 29: 27; Privalov, "Ot shkoly zhurnalizma," 14-16; N. V. Zlaia, "Predislovie" to GARF f. 5214, op. 1: 1. GARF f. 5214 is the archive of the State Institute of Journalism.

33. RTsKhIDNI f. 17, op. 60, d. 924, ll. 23, 28-ob, 29; quotations: 28-ob, 29.

34. Khashchenko, "Griadushchie rezervy zhurnalistiki," 27. RTsKhIDNI f. 17, op. 60, d. 924, l. 23 also contains data for 1923, which differs slightly from that given by Khashchenko.

35. Privalov, "Ot shkoly zhurnalizma," 16; GARF f. 5214 op. 1, d. 10, l. 24.

36. "Pravila priema v GIZh na 1924-25 god," Zhurnalist, June 1924, no. 12: 76.

37. "V GIZhe," Zhurnalist, Oct. 1924, no. 15: 55.

38. E.g., GARF f. 5214, op. 2, d. 820, ll. 6-6-ob; d. 387, ll. 7-7-ob.

39. These retraining courses were offered only in 1924. It seems likely that leaders of the press corps decided that precious resources (i.e., training) should no longer be wasted on the ideologically marginal types who were students in these courses. Genuine educational and organizational problems, arising from the diversity of the student body and the students' various educational objectives, may also have been a factor. (GARF f. 5566, op. 1v, d. 5, 1. 41; d. 39, 1. 3; op. la, d. 5, 1. 7; GARF f. 5214, op. 1, d. 10, 1. 37.) An evening training course was again offered in 1926/27; it was intended for editors and rabsel'kory of factory newspapers. (GARF f. 5214, op. 2, d. 3, 1.62.)

40. GARF f. 5566, op. 1a, d. 4, 1. 25; d. 3, 1. 7.

41. Ibid., op. 1v, d. 41, ll. 1-190.

42. Ibid., op. 3, d. 84, ll. 9-12; M. S., "GIZh razvivaetsia," Krasnaia pechat', Nov. 1927, no. 21: 45.

43. "Pravila priema v gosudarstvennyi institut zhurnalistiki na 1926-1927 uchebnyi god," Zhurnalist, 1926, no. 6/7: 95.

44. "Pravila priema v gosudarstvennyi institut zhurnalistiki na 1927-28 uch. god," Zhurnalist, June 1927, no. 6: 71. GIZh's curriculum was reorganized for the 1927/28 academic year. The majority of students continued to study in what was now called the "basic course," which was essentially a continuation of the institute's earlier program of studies.

45. No announcement of changes has been located.

46. GARF f. 5214, op. 2, d. 9, l. 86. Fully 19 percent were only Party candidates or Komsomol members. Non-proletarian, non-peasant students were classified as "other."

47. GARF f. 5214, op 2, d. 5, l. 136. Six percent were Party candidates or Komsomol members. Non-proletarian, non-peasant students were classified as "other."

48. GARF f. 5214, op. 1, d. 10, l. 97.

49. For example, in 1927/28, 60 percent of the students entering GIZh's basic course were fifteen or younger in 1917 (GARF f. 5214, op. 2, d. 9,1.83). The phrase "the problem of class identity" is Sheila Fitzpatrick's.

50. Various statistical compilations are available for 1927/28 and 1928/29; since they were compiled at different (and indeterminable) times they do not always agree. I have used the most complete sets of statistics.

51. The data for 1927/28 are from GARF f. 5214, op. 2, d. 12, ll. 1-5; they refer to students entering the three-year "basic course," which was GIZh's curricular mainstay after its 1927 reorganization. Data for 1925/26 are from GARF f. 5214, op. 2, d. 9, 1. 86; data for 1926/27 are from GARF f. 5214, op. 2, d. 5, l. 136.

52. GARF f. 5214, op. 1, d. 10, ll. 116-118.

53. Data for November 1927 are from GARF f. 5214, op. 1, d. 10, l. 117; data for 1925/26 are from GARF f. 5214, op. 2, d. 9, l. 86. In 1925/26 the reference is not to sluzhashchie but to "other" social identities.

54. GARF f. 5214, op. 2, d. 14, ll. 13-14-ob.

55. Ibid., d. 27, l. 1. The data report the "sotssostav" (social structure) of students entering the basic course. It was 44 percent worker, 41 percent peasant, and 15 percent sluzhashchii.

56. GARF f. 5214, op. 2, d. 14, ll. 19-20; d. 12, ll. 12-13. In 1927/28, 25 students were admitted to the editorial division; in 1928/29, 44 were admitted.

57. Privalov, "Ot shkoly zhurnalizma," 14-16; N. V. Zlaia, "Predislovie" to GARF f. 5214, op. 1: 1; quotation: "V GIZhe," Zhurnalist, Oct. 1924, no 15: 55. Among the occasional lecturers were A. S. Bubnov, N. K. Ivanov-Gramen, A. V. Lunacharskii, and Iu. M. Steklov.

58. RTsKhIDNI f. 17, op. 60, d. 924, l. 1.

59. GARF f. 5214, op. 1, d. 4, ll. 3-3-ob.

60. "V GIZhe," Zhurnalist, Oct. 1924, no. 15: 56.

61. GARF f. 5214, op. 1, d. 4, l. 5-ob.

62. "Disput o GIZhe," Krasnaia pechat', 10 June 1925, no. 14: 23-26; "Disput o sovetskoi zhurnalistike," 32-40, quotation: 37. Shafir's study is Gazeta i derevnia (Moscow: Izdatel'stvo "Krasnaia nov'," 1923).

63. GARF f. 5214, op. 1, d. 8, ll. 29, 104-106-ob; quotations: ll. 104, 105.

64. Ibid, ll. 25-26.

65. Ibid., ll. 28-40, 43.

66. lbid, d. 10, l. 103.

67. RTsKhIDNI f. 17, op. 60, d. 755, ll. 200-203; quotation: 1. 200.

68. GARF f. 5214, op. l, d. 8, ll. 1, 2, 45, 45-ob.

69. Ibid., d. 10, ll. 98-99.

70. Ibid., l. 103.

71. Ibid., op. 2, d. 9, 1.88; N. V. Zlaia, "Predislovie" to GARF f. 5214, op. 1: 6-7; M. S., "GIZh razvivaetsia," Krasnaia pechat', 1927, no. 21:46-48.

72. A. Kurs, "O metodakh prepodavaniia zhurnalistiki," Zhurnalist, 1930, no. 7/8:11-12 and ibid., 1930, no. 11/12: 24-27, quotations: no 7/8:11, no. 11/12: 24.

73. A. Kurs, "O metodakh prepodavaniia zhurnalistiki," 26.

74. O partiinoi i sovetskoi pechati (Moscow, 1954), 396.

75. Ibid., pp. 401-403.

76. In the fall of 1926, 237 students were enrolled at GIZh. (GARF 5214, op. 1, d. 10, 1. 8.) In the 1927/28 academic year, 251 students were enrolled. (GARF 5214, op. 2, d. 9, 11.81-82, 84-85, 88.) In the 1928/29 academic year, 287 students were enrolled. (GARF 5214, op. 2, d. 14, 1. 22-ob.)

77. GARF f. 5214, op. 1, d. 31, l. 76-ob.

78. Ibid., l. 16.

79. Ibid., op. 2, d. 1525, l. 3. The only exception was for young people in training for the Komsomol press, who were only required to have a three year stazh in the Komsomol.

80. Ibid., op. l, d. 31, l. 75.

81. Ibid., l. 16.

82. Ibid., l. 7, 75-ob, 76.

83. Ibid., ll. 10, 20-21-ob; quotation: l. 10.

84. Ibid., l. 75; Kotlyar, "Newspapers in the USSR," 73; see also, M. Gus, "O fakul'tete, kabinete i sed'mom nebe," Zhurnalist, 1926, no. 12: 6-7 and idem, "Ne poputchik, a sputchik," Zhurnalist, February 1928, no. 2: 12-14. In his 1926 article, Gus advocated setting up university programs to train non-party journalists no longer eligible to study at GIZh.

85. Kotlyar, "Newspapers in the USSR," 73.

86. Kotlyar, "Newspapers in the USSR," 108; E. I. Matkhanova, "Rabsel'korovskoe dvizhenie v pereod perekhoda na mirnuiu rabotu po vostanovleniiu narodnogo khoziaistva SSSR (1921-25)" (Kandidatskaia dissertatsiia, Moscow, 1953), 229.

87. A. Kurs, "Zabytaia direktiva," Pechat' i revoliutsiia, June 1926, no. 4: 97-101.

88. "Disput o sovetskoi zhurnalistike," 33-34; Kurs, "O metodakh prepodavaniia zhurnalistiki."

89. GARF f. 5214, op. l, d. 31, ll. 11-11-ob, 34.

90. Ibid., ll. 90-90-ob.

91. Ibid., ll. 76-ob-78.

92. Data for 1930/31 are from GARF f. 5214, op. 1, d. 31, l. 91; data for 1927/28 are from GARF f. 5214, op. 2, d. 9, ll. 81-82, 84-85, 88, and include statistics for the basic course, the national minorities' course and the editors' course.

93. GARF f. 5214, op. 1, d. 31, l. 91.

94. Johnson, "Russian Educators," 147-153.
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Author:Mueller, Julie Kay
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