The four correspondents of the Communist Party newspaper Pravda, during their five days in Geneva, have written a total of five articles.
Compared to the torrent of stories, features and sidebars produced by reporters of the average American daily newspaper represented here, the output by the Soviet Union's chief newspaper is sparse.
But, noted Thomas Kolesnichenko, Pravda's foreign editor, in a small office crowded with three desks and one manual typewriter, "to publish every day in Pravda is already something."
For the 35 Soviet journalists covering the meeting of President Reagan and Soviet leader Mikhail Gorbachev is very different than it is for their more than 1,000 American counterparts.
"We are 35, you are thousands," said one Soviet editor. "It is like the military situation. You are ahead."
Housed in a ballroom at the Hotel Intercontinental, the Washington-based press is elbow to elbow at long felt-covered tables. Electronic keyboards click around the clock and transmit the stories through phone circuits. Reporters' chatter rises to a din as deadlines near.
The offices of the Soviet press, located down the hill at the international conference center, are as hushed as Lenin's tomb. When stories are authorized, Pravda's correspondents write on a portable typewriter and dictate to Moscow by phone.
To this closely controlled government press, competition, scoops and conflicting analyses seem foreign concepts. There is no professional interest, for instance, in the goings and comings of Raisa Gorbachev and Nancy Reagan. "We think it is more important to cover the arms race than what hat someone wears," said Kolesnichenko.
"It is not a show for us," he added. "You Americans do many things for show -- like your elections, with balloons, hats and Coca-Cola."
Said another Soviet journalist, "In the West, public figures never have their private lives. We have a different tradition; I prefer ours."
The six reporters here for Tass, the official Soviet news agency, have kept to terse accounts of the leaders' meetings. Last night, Tass was so confident of its report of the dinner at the Soviet mission that it ran the story an hour before the appetizer was served.
Today, as the summit went into its final hours, Soviet journalists seemed to be suspended in an expectant state of "wait and see," as one explained it: to see what the government line will be, and hence what will be the theme of the final reports on the summit in the Soviet press.
Several Soviet journalists echoed, almost word for word, Kremlin spokesman Leonid Zamyatin's statement that the talks, in and by themselves, are "a positive event" -- a switch from a more negative tone evident earlier in the Soviet press.
Several Soviet journalists pointed out when interviewed that Gorbachev met yesterday with Jesse Jackson not as an American political figure but as representative of a group handing in more than 1 million signatures in favor of a nuclear freeze. And that, as it happened, was the way the event was described in Pravda.
To a westerner, the Soviet mixing of journalism and government can be confusing. For instance, Genrikh Borovic was one of four Soviet journalists who interviewed President Reagan two weeks ago. Here, Borovic, a playwright and editor of Theatr magazine, is accredited to the literary journal Novy Mir for a long feature on the summit to appear in February.
And yet last week, Borovic also appeared on a panel of Soviet experts on regional issues, as a specialist on Central and Latin America. "I don't think being an 'expert' ruins my objectivity at all," he said.
Soviet journalists, like their western counterparts, talk about the "new style" of the Gorbachev leadership. This is typified by the phalanx of experts that have been available to western reporters here since last week for