EPRS Admin By / February 10, 2022

Registrations under law on mass media by media and ownership type

Registrations under law on mass media by media and ownership type

Registrations under law on mass media by media and ownership type

The toughened measures faced by independent and Western media, and the cognitive dissonance between Belarusian citizens and state media might have shifted public perceptions. A March 2021 report by the Centre for East European and International Studies (ZOiS) shows that 70.6 % of Belarusian citizens use social and online media as their primary source of information; Belarusian state television channels, Russian-backed media and Western media all score lower. According to the report, only 10 % of respondents use state media as their main information source.
Overall, the findings indicate that more than 65 % of respondents either ‘do not trust at all’ or ‘rather do not trust’ mass media in Belarus. The report notes that, while using ‘social and online media sources is not the same as endorsing pro-democracy views … a shift away from state media highlights a loss of trust in their reporting and leaves a wide-open space for alternative information that can shape public perceptions’. This ‘implies a more active engagement with the political world, rather than passive reliance on state media’, an unwelcome trend for an authoritarian government.
On 1 February 2022, there were 1 599 printed papers registered in the state mass media register according to the Belarusian Ministry of Information, including 717 newspapers and 841 magazines. Moreover, there are 163 radio programmes and 98 TV programmes. The state owns the majority of radio programmes (over 80 %) and also owns 45 % of TV programmes. In contrast, the written media is over 70 % privately owned. Still, private ownership is limited by harsh legal provisions and practices, including the possibility of being removed from the state mass media register and being identified as ‘extremist’.


Related Articles

Be the first to write a comment.

Leave a Reply