Mongolia Table of Contents
At the Nineteenth Party Congress in 1986, Batmonh described the media as powerful "tools of openness" that were "to influence the formation of public opinion, foster a creative atmosphere in society, and inspire an active approach to life in the individual." Recognizing the chief role of the media as being to educate and to inform as well as to direct the population toward the goals and program developed by the party, Batmonh and the senior party leadership also appeared to be using media channels for improving the performance of party and government organizations. There was a new emphasis on exposing the shortcomings in economic performance and on making "the real state of affairs" known. In December 1986, Batmonh launched an attack on "bureaucracy, stagnation and passivity," calling instead for "a new and creatively courageous approach to work in an atmosphere of openness, frankness, justness and principledness." By mid-1987, the press included exchanges of letters between readers and responsible officials discussing examples of bureaucracy and government inefficiency.
At the key December 1988 Central Committee plenary session, Batmonh said that the media needed to foster in people "a scientific world outlook and further raise their social consciousness." He also extended the scope of il tod (openness), Mongolia's version of glasnost, to include a critical reappraisal of questions about Mongolian history and society by filling in the so-called "blank spots." In addition to criticisms of Tsedenbal, Political Bureau resolutions emanating from the plenary session stressed the importance of Mongolia's cultural heritage. In a major departure from the past, the party was instructed to preserve the national culture carefully and to transmit it to the next generation. Even Chinggis Khan, whom the Soviet Union repeatedly had identified as a "reactionary figure," was given an honored place in Mongolian history as founder of the nation. A two-volume biography of Chinggis, published in China's neighboring Nei Monggol Autonomous Region in 1987, reportedly was in great demand by young Mongolians.
Underlying the party's new information policy--espousing critical thinking, intellectual vitality, and national pride--was the intention to inspire and to involve the entire population in the party's developmental program. The media carried the party message throughout society through press, radio, television, publishing outlets, vocational and social clubs, films, and libraries. The selection of thematic material was being supervised closely in the late 1980s, but, in comparison with the Tsedenbal years, a relaxed atmosphere toward the media was apparent.
Data as of June 1989