Monday, November 30, 2009
When looking for something to blog about on Bear in a Hat, my first instincts always lead me to google "funny Russian news". It hasn't worked for me all year, but I still thought it is worth the try. Today's search proved fruitful.
On a little website known as pravda.ru, I came across this article on "climategate", a supposed scandal uncovering the truth about global warming: its all a lie.
"The Internet has been abuzz throughout the past week with the news of what everyone is calling 'Climategate' - a major scandal involving leaked emails and data from the Climatic Research Unit (CRU) at the University of East Anglia (UEA). Located in the town of Norwich in the United Kingdom, the Climatic Research Unit is a primary center for the 'science' that supports the theory of Global Warming".
This led to several questions. Wasn't Правда the Communist-Party Newspaper in the U.S.S.R.? Isn't the Communist Party out of power? Isn't the U.S.S.R. dissoved? Is everything I know a lie? I decided to investigate...
The first Правда was founded by Trotsky in Vienna(to avoid censorship) in 1908, and was smuggled into Russia, but closed down in 1912. It turns out, the Правда we know and loved existed as an organ for the Communist Party between 1912 and 1991. It started as a weekly in St. Petersburg called Звезда, and made its way to Moscow by 1918. It was known during the Cold War for making the announcements for the Soviet Communist Party. In 1991, President Boris Yeltsin closed down Правда. Today, many former reporters for the newspaper created a new paper by the same name. The new Правда is the most popular tabloid in Russia. Pravda.ru is unaffiliated with either new or old Правда.
Thus Правда, which started out as a revolutionary paper, has transitioned from Communist propaganda to tabloid. The news published in Pravda today is probably not much different than the news of fifty years ago, although Stalin probably doesn't publish anything in there anymore. Wait, its a tabloid... maybe he does. After all, a popular Russian saying during the Soviet era was "v Pravde net izvestiy, v Izvestiyakh net pravdy". Referring to Pravda (Truth), the Communist Party paper, and Izvestia (News), the main Soviet paper, this translates to "In the Truth there is no news, and in the News there is no truth".
The city where the mills created the paper for Правда, amongst other newspapers, is now called Pravdinsk.