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  • Famous Media Experts Summarize the Results of the Year in Belarus: The Village, ‘Native’ Advertising, Prosecuted Freelancers etc.

    The Belarusian Association of Journalists asked colleagues to recollect main events in the Belarusian media field that happened in the year of 2017.


    Yahor Martsinovich, ‘Nasha Niva’ Editor-in-chief

    There hasn’t been any­thing cru­cial­ly impor­tant this year. The note­wor­thy events includ­ed the estab­lish­ment of new news resources, includ­ing The Vil­lage Belarus, Ref­or­ma­tion, and “Nasha Nina”.

    Also, the dis­missal of Ananich was a small but pleas­ant event of the year.

    As for ‘Nasha Niva’, it was an impor­tant achieve­ment that we occu­pied the third top posi­tion among the most viewed media resources in Belarus in 2017.


    Siarhei Sakharau, ‘CityDog’ Web-site Editor-in-chief

    TUT.BY is the nation­al leader among Web-resources this year. The achieve­ment has been repeat­ed­ly con­firmed by Gemius. Mary­na Zolatava’s team has learned the mantra: “We are the fourth estate”. The state­ment might be met with cer­tain skep­ti­cism one-two years ago, but it is evi­dent now that TUT.BY is the infor­ma­tion­al and that is even more impor­tant tech­no­log­i­cal leader among Belaru­sian media. And they can real­ly influ­ence the pub­lic agen­da.

    The region­al leader is a Web-site Intex-Press.by from Baranavichy. The Edi­tor-in-chief Uladz­imir Yanuke­vich is a real guru of media man­age­ment. The per­son has a pro­found skill of sur­vival and devel­op­ment. He is genet­i­cal­ly capa­ble of team-build­ing and cre­at­ing a com­pet­i­tive media prod­uct.

    Valer Kalinouski, ‘Radio Liberty’ News Editor

    The “Bel­sat” TV-chan­nel has been the cen­tral event in the media field this year. There start­ed a finan­cial scan­dal close to its 10th anniver­sary, but it end­ed well. Also, there should be rec­ol­lect­ed the pros­e­cu­tion of free­lance jour­nal­ists.


    Sasha Ramanava, Director of ‘Mint Media’ Publishing House

    The start of The Vil­lage Belarus Web-site has been def­i­nite­ly an out­stand­ing event, since actu­al­ly it is the first fran­chis­ing media com­pa­ny in Belarus.

    Aliaksandr Klaskouski, Head of Analytical Projects, BelaPAN News Agency

    I would like to men­tion the high pro­file work of non-state mass media dur­ing the ‘par­a­site’ protest actions (the infor­ma­tion flow, com­ments, and live online streams). By the way, the soci­ol­o­gists, includ­ing Andrei Vardamadski’s Belaru­sian ana­lyt­i­cal lab, reg­is­tered the increased pub­lic trust in inde­pen­dent mass media at that peri­od of time. It is well seen who is who dur­ing such cri­sis moments.

    The state media slan­dered and the jour­nal­ists of inde­pen­dent media imple­ment­ed the pure­ly jour­nal­is­tic mis­sion, despite fac­ing all hard­ships and attacks. I’m proud of my col­leagues dur­ing such moments of truth!

    Anton Kashlikau, Editor, 34mag.net

    In my opin­ion, the start of The Vil­lage in Min­sk and the re-launch of “Piar­shak” are among the most promi­nent events in the media field this year.

    Siarhei Hudzilin, Photo journalist

    There were two promi­nent pieces of news in 2017. The good news was the estab­lish­ment of The Vil­lage fran­chise com­pa­ny that is def­i­nite­ly a sign of local media mar­ket devel­op­ment. The bad news is the dis­missal of Ali­ak­san­dr Vasiukovich from TUT.BY.

    Also, I would like to praise the exhi­bi­tions of “Ime­na” project, which make new forms of com­mu­ni­ca­tion with the read­er.

    Alaksiej Minchonak, Official Representative of ‘Belsat’ TV Channel in Belarus

    As for me, the most impor­tant things are those that I observe myself every day. It has been for the first time in his­to­ry this year that we’ve man­aged to con­firm the real impor­tance of “Bel­sat” for Belarus. The protest actions in the spring showed the high impor­tance of satel­lite TV. Due to our broad­cast­ing, peo­ple in small towns and vil­lages could fol­low the events in the streets of big cities, even hav­ing no access to the Inter­net. The increas­ing role of ‘Bel­sat’ is also con­firmed by the actions of the author­i­ties, who imposed fines on our jour­nal­ists 60 times for the total amount of 46,138 Belaru­sian rubles since the year start.

    More­over, ‘Bel­sat’ cel­e­brates the 10th anniver­sary since the begin­ning of its broad­cast­ing ser­vice this year. It is an impor­tant date for us and we are full of opti­mism as for the future of our TV-chan­nel and the whole Belaru­sian media com­mu­ni­ty it is a part of.




    Iryna Leushyna, ‘BelaPAN’ News Agency, Editor-in-chief

    There were quite a few high pro­file events this year. And due to com­mon efforts of civ­il soci­ety and jour­nal­ists, the author­i­ties had to step back in many cas­es.

    In par­tic­u­lar, it con­cerns the ‘par­a­site’ decree, the ‘patri­ots’ case’, the busi­ness cen­tre con­struc­tion in Kura­p­aty, a tri­al on the case of home birth in Vit­sieb­sk, and the con­script sol­diers’ sui­cide cas­es in the army.

    It is for the first time for many years, that I’ve got a feel­ing that mass media can be real­ly ‘the fourth estate’ in our coun­try.

    As a sep­a­rate media event I would like to rec­ol­lect the dis­missal of Ananich from the posi­tion of the Min­is­ter of Infor­ma­tion of Belarus.  It was a real gift for me.


    Sviatlana Kalinkina, journalist

    The unprece­dent­ed pres­sure on free­lance jour­nal­ists has been the main event in the year of 2017. The news about it appeared prac­ti­cal­ly every week…

    Pauliuk Bykouski, media expert

    The list of impor­tant events this year includes the resumed prac­tice of deten­tion and impo­si­tion of fines on jour­nal­ists, the appoint­ment of a new Min­is­ter of Infor­ma­tion and the aggra­vat­ed eco­nom­ic sit­u­a­tion, faced by a num­ber of pub­lish­ers of print­ed news­pa­pers.

    Maryna Zolatava, Editor-in-chief, TUT.BY

    I think it was an inter­est­ing year for mass media. It was the time of chal­lenges. Also, it was the time of appear­ance of new media for­mats. It was very inter­est­ing to work and observe the col­leagues’ work. We have good and not very good news in this respect.

    The non-par­a­sites’ protest actions showed that the Belaru­sian inde­pen­dent media has become an influ­en­tial source of infor­ma­tion, both in form and con­tent. The live online stream­ing and video reports, pro­duced by TUT.BY, і “Radio Lib­er­ty”, “Nasha Niva”, and “Bel­sat”  have been watched by mil­lions of peo­ple, all in all. And I’m con­vinced that it was due to our work that the author­i­ties recon­sid­ered their deci­sion. Unfor­tu­nate­ly, jour­nal­ists were detained dur­ing the actions, and the num­ber of imposed fines on them for the alleged work with­out accred­i­ta­tion reached 46 cas­es by August 2017. 

    As for tech­nolo­gies and new for­mats, I think that almost every­one deals with devel­op­ment of their rep­re­sen­ta­tion in the social media, and it is prac­ti­cal­ly impos­si­ble to find some­one, who doesn’t deal with video reports there.

    I know for sure that numer­ous online-edi­to­ri­als deal with Web-ana­lyt­ics that makes their work more con­scious and mod­ern. I fol­low with plea­sure the devel­op­ment of the “Names” project, start­ed by Kat­sia Siniuk.

    At the same time, there are some things that make me sad, includ­ing the neg­li­gent work with facts and the bias. I will not men­tion con­crete exam­ples, but there have been quite a few of them. Pho­tos from the social media, posts from under the lock with­out com­ments and ref­er­ences to oth­er sources… A lot of this kind of ‘infor­ma­tion’ appeared on the pages of media…

    Also, I’m embar­rassed with the extreme­ly aggres­sive use of ‘native adver­tis­ing’. It is not the con­tent of these adverts that wor­ries me, but the way it is pre­sent­ed. The neg­li­gent atti­tude towards the top­ic can reflect neg­a­tive­ly on the media con­tent and the pub­lic trust in the media.  

    Pho­to cour­tesy: “Radio Lib­er­ty”, Ali­ak­san­dr Taran­ti­no Zhdanovich, budzma.by, btools.by, belprauda.org, TUT.BY, mediakritika.by

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