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  • Ministry of Information to BAJ: Neither We, Nor Journalists Need CSOs as Intermediaries

    The Ministry of Information sent an impudent response signed by deputy minister Pavel Liohki to BAJ inquiry about an accreditation procedure for mass media at the Ministry. The Belarusian Association of Journalists will appeal against the document.

    In its inquiry, BAJ asked if the Min­istry of Infor­ma­tion had a pro­ce­dure for accred­i­ta­tion of media rep­re­sen­ta­tives. The pos­si­bil­i­ty of accred­i­ta­tion is envis­aged by Art. 35 of the Law on Mass Media.

    In his response to BAJ inquiry, Pavel Lioh­ki, first deputy min­is­ter of infor­ma­tion, says:

    «When build­ing rela­tions between the Min­istry of Infor­ma­tion and rep­re­sen­ta­tives of both state-owned and non-state media, nei­ther of the par­ties needs medi­a­tion of var­i­ous non-gov­ern­men­tal orga­ni­za­tions, no mat­ter how respect­ed they might be, as you can as well learn from mem­bers of BAJ. We wish you suc­cess in the field of pub­lic work, if such will do good for the coun­try.»

    The Belaru­sian Asso­ci­a­tion of Jour­nal­ists is out­raged at such a response.

    BAJ Chair­man Andrei Bas­tunets empha­sizes, jour­nal­ists join the orga­ni­za­tion pre­cise­ly for BAJ to rep­re­sent them and advo­cate for their inter­ests.

    — This is a unique response in terms of the way the civ­il ser­vants under­stand their role and their work. First, the Min­istry’s response was not to the point — whether it had a devel­oped  pro­ce­dure for accred­i­ta­tion of jour­nal­ists.

    Sec­ond­ly, civ­il soci­ety orga­ni­za­tions are cre­at­ed in order to rep­re­sent the inter­ests of their mem­bers. This is why more than 1,200 col­leagues have joined our inter­na­tion­al­ly-renowned orga­ni­za­tion.

    And cer­tain­ly the Min­istry of Infor­ma­tion can not speak on behalf of BAJ mem­bers.

    In gen­er­al, the Inter-Agency Plan on Imple­men­ta­tion of Rec­om­men­da­tions in the Field of Human Rights speaks of the need to increase civic par­tic­i­pa­tion in pub­lic admin­is­tra­tion. The Min­istry of Infor­ma­tion is among the agen­cies that are respon­si­ble for imple­men­ta­tion of the plan, — says Andrei Bas­tunets.

    The Belaru­sian Asso­ci­a­tion of Jour­nal­ists is going to appeal against the response from the Min­istry.

    In Sep­tem­ber, BAJ launched a study on the rules and pro­ce­dures of jour­nal­ists’ accred­i­ta­tion by gov­ern­ment agen­cies and local author­i­ties. Accord­ing to the results of a sim­i­lar research in 2017, the Min­istry of Infor­ma­tion was named among the agen­cies that are most unwill­ing to coop­er­ate with jour­nal­ists.

    In 2018 study, BAJ has sent for­mal inquiries con­cern­ing the pro­ce­dure of accred­i­ta­tion of jour­nal­ists to all min­istries, state com­mit­tees, major agen­cies, local exec­u­tive com­mit­tees and region­al coun­cils. The study is to find out if the gov­ern­ment agen­cies have rel­e­vant legal pro­vi­sions on the accred­i­ta­tion of jour­nal­ists, and if not, to pro­vide a sam­ple of the doc­u­ment for adop­tion.

    Pho­to Belta


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