On March 15, 1917 the editorial board of the Communist Party newspaper Pravda welcomed a new member – Joseph Stalin. The name chosen for this flagship journal –‘Pravda’ – is the Russian word for ‘truth,’ though its original usage also referred to ‘justice.’ The first medieval law code of Kiev Rus (ancient Russia) was known as Russkaya Pravda (‘Russian Justice’).
Pravda was the official mouthpiece of Russia’s Communist Party, while its journalistic twin Izvestia (the Russian word for ‘news’) represented the Supreme Soviet (Russia’s top governmental body) and its positions on foreign affairs. Ironically, and due to the fact that many Russians knew that they were being lied to from both sides of the journalistic aisle (the Party and the Supreme Soviet), many Slavs tended to believe the exact opposite of what appeared in print.
A sly proverb was whispered quietly in those days: “In Pravda there is no news, and in Izvestia there is no truth.”
Stalin and fake news
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