The Year 2013 in News: Mongolia

Outside the government building.
Outside the government building.

While eating dinner at a local restaurant, something peculiar came on TV: An English newscast read by a Mongolian woman. I had never seen anything like it before, but apparently, it is out there. She was reviewing the year’s top stories in Mongolia. Here are some of the stories I remember her talking about that I remember the hullabaloo about when they transpired:

Former President Enkhbayar freed from jail

Those who were his opponents said it was to crack down on corruption in the government, others on Enkbayar’s side said it was a targeted attack against politicians for not being in “the right party.” Regardless, his 2-4 year sentence sure ended quickly.

Shots fired outside of parliament

During a protest outside the government building last summer, someone fired a rifle at the parliament building. The protests centered around the environment and resource boom in Mongolian mining. Apologies for not being able to find an English language news link.

Their number one story: First surviving quadruplets born in Mongolia

The family who birthed these wunderkind were rewarded greatly for their patriotic repopulation efforts: A new apartment, praise, and assistance from many private and public organizations. Since you can win medals in Mongolia for having a certain number of children, given the small size of the nation, this news of four children in a single birth was quite the deal.

My personal number one story: McDonalds hoax and Mongolian media

Can you buy the truth? In Mongolia, Mongol TV team paid off all nine of the major media outlets to run a false story about McDonalds coming to Mongolia. When the picture spoke of mutton burgers and goat milkshakes, it set off some red flags (especially since it was all in English, and but a single picture). The resulting confusion still has people asking about Mickey D’s coming to the land of the eternal blue sky. This all stems from a lack of transparency when reporting on ads vs. features that are actually paid advertisements. Needless to say, quite a few stations walked away with egg on their face.


6 thoughts on “The Year 2013 in News: Mongolia

  1. There is English news in Mongolia?! I would have liked to see such a thing.

    The McDonald’s scam only made it here alongside news that that’s what it was. Did you hear the story before the reveal?


    1. Yes, there is news in English on Mongolian TV. The authorities and business are bending forward and backwards to please investors. And yes, you are not likely to find many English language links to the story on Munkhbayar’s protests because that is essentially a protest against big mining investors.


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