The press history remembered

Eleonora Vaičeliūnienė

The publications of periodicals in the area of Kupiškis started in connection with the activities of progressive youth groups. For the first time, small newspapers “Gojelis” (little forest), and “Jaunimėlis” (youngsters) had been published in 1912–1913. Five first editions, 25 copies each, had been hectographed in a barn of Jurgis Bukėnas, who lived in Bukoniai homestead, Noriūnai sub-district. Later published printed words in the “Laisvas kelias” (free road) also under supervision by Bukėnas, was issued from the autumn of 1916 for nearly two years. More lately, already in the times of Lithuania’s Independence, small mimeographed issues of manuscripts were popular among school students and members of youth organisations. The texts on public activities and literary creations had been announced in them.

In 1945–1951, press issued by partisans appeared in the environs of Kupiškis. Newspapers “Pragiedruliai” (bright periods) and “Partizanų kova” (partisans’ battle) as well as satirical journals reached the people. The copies had been made by a mimeograph.

On October 22, 1946, the official newspaper “Stalino keliu” (along the road of Stalin) was issued by the Communist party and the government for the people of the then Kupiškis County. Its first 15 issues had been published at the Panevėžys printing house, and from May of 1947 the newspaper was printed in Kupiškis as a press organ of the Soviet power in the Kupiškis District for 40 years. It appeared twice a week in 1400–2000 copies. Its first editor-in- chief was Alfonsas Dagelis. During 70 years of publication, the newspaper had 13 editors-in-chief. The name and contents of the newspaper were chaining. After the Stalin’s cult was denounced, it was issued as “Komunizmo keliu” (along the road of Communism). Its editorial board managed to get rid of this name together with the wave of the Lithuanian Rebirth movement. The new name was based on the opinions of readers; and it was “Kupiškėnų mintys” (the thoughts of Kupiškis people) or KM printed from the February of 1989. From the start of 1990 this newspaper is published without any supervision of any party; this is the newspaper of Kupiškis District.

During of the period when Lithuania’s independence was strengthening, the publishing was complicated. Due to lack of paper, it was printed in fewer copies and more rarely. Up to 1998, KM appeared twice a week with a run of 5,000 copies. As the state property privatisation began, the UAB KM shareholding company was established with its shares also bought by the staff of the editorial office. On July 1, 1995, the UAB KM Board had been elected. After two years the majority of its shares became a property of one person, but the character of activities of the UAB KM had not changed.

Soon, the journalistic work and publishing was computerised. From 1998 the texts are typed and layout done using computer. The process of transfer of the layout to the printing house takes only 2-3 minutes.

New publications appeared in the district, such as “Atgaiva” (1995–1997 m.), “Kupiškio žinios” (Kupiškis news) (1999–2009 m.), from 2004 the annual almanac “Kupiškis: kultūra ir istorija” (Kupiškis; culture and history), from 2005 a newspaper “Tau parapijieti” (For you the parishioner) is published in 3,000 copies; schools and village communities also have their own newspapers.

In 1963–1990, here was a local radio station in the district. From 1996 the rado news are enriched with the Kupiškis TV studio broadcasts.