Pressball: “Financial hardships related to the closure of the website caused the failure of Lisichkin’s heart”
The Pressball newspaper published an obituary for their editor-in-chief, Siarhei Lisichkin, who passed away on August 11. He was 54 years of age.
“The editorial team was shocked by the news on Friday.
The day before, Siarhei Lisichkin, Pressball’s editor-in-chief, worked on the next issue of the newspaper. He felt unwell but reassured us that it was not a big deal. He attributed it to a magnetic storm. But everyone knew that his health was mostly affected by financial problems we all faced after the website was censored in Belarus.
It is widely recognized that advertisers favor the online platform and the blockage resulted in a loss of income.”
The belief that the ‘disqualification’ would not last long did not come true. The obituary states that the editor’s heart failed under stress.
The editorial team acknowledges that Siarhei Lisichkin joined Pressball during a challenging period when the publication lost a group of excellent journalists and ill-wishers predicted a quick end.
“In the beginning, the team faced many challenges in building teamwork, business approaches, and strategy choices. However, Lisichkin’s willingness to listen to his colleagues and trust in their expertise paid off.”
Siarhei Lisichkin became the newspaper’s leader in December 2020 amidst staff purges and the firing of management who supported the protests.
He was offered the position by Uladzimir Bazanau, who was the chairman of the Belarusian Football Federation at the time. The publication was partly owned by the Federation. Initially, Lisichkin declined the offer but later changed his mind. Consequently, several important employees left the newspaper.
Before joining Pressball, Lisichkin worked as a reporter for ANT TV channel and also as a part-time spokesperson for Minsk Field Hockey Club. He also wrote for Sportivnaya Panorama, SB. Belarus Segodnya, Komsomolskaya Pravda, Minsk Kurier, and other media outlets.
During Lisichkin’s tenure, Pressball attempted to maintain a loyalist position towards the government, yet the Ministry of Information recently blocked the newspaper’s website.