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Alexander Lukashenko to meet with journalists of Belarus' state largest mass media


According to BelTA Belarus President Alexander Lukashenko met with journalists of the Belarusian state largest mass media outlets on 10 April.

The meeting will take place at the Belarusian TV and radio broadcasting company Belteleradiocompany. Prior to the interview, Alexander Lukashenko is expected to get familiar with the news broadcasting development prospects. The president will also be briefed on technical re-equipment and HD broadcasting in the country. Taking part in the meeting with the Belarusian head of state will be more than 130 journalists representing Belteleradiocompany, Second National TV Channel, Stolichnoye Televidenie, BelTA news agency, Sovetskaya Belorussiya newspaper, Zvyazda publishing house and the national subsidiary of the interstate TV and radio company MIR. The most interesting moments and details of the conversation with the president will be published on BelTA's website and aired by the Belarusian central TV channels. Internet users will have a unique opportunity to send their questions for Alexander Lukashenko to voprosnomer1@tvr.by. During the meeting the Belarusian leader will answer the most interesting questions.

Lukashenko: New law on media aims to protect people from destructive information

The major goal of the new law on mass media is to protect people from destructive information, Belarus President Alexander Lukashenko said during a meeting with the heads of major state mass media outlets, BelTA has learned. Speaking about the main tasks of mass media outlets, the head of state noted that some of them are described in the new law on media. They include the development of the domestic TV content. According to Alexander Lukashenko, the new law has been designed to “protect our people from a flow of unverified, false, destructive information.” According to the president, quality journalism with an author's position, reliable facts and deep analytics are highly in demand today. “Your goal is to catch the attention of readers and viewers. You need to carefully prioritize your activities and think over the thematic and genre variety of TV channels and newspapers to draw the attention of people of different age and opinion,” the head of state said. In his words, it seems impossible today to take the youth away from mobile phones and computers and make them read a newspaper. “Thus, we must offer them something interesting and objective on the internet,” Alexander Lukashenko said. The president said that he had approved the discussion of the amendments to the law on media in the parliament together with media representatives. “You should make this law for yourselves. I want you to be happy with this law. It will be great if they, who are asking me this question, are happy with the law, too. It does not matter that they did not vote for me. I am the president of the Belarusian people and I am ready to take all the interests into account,” the Belarusian leader said. He stressed that the proposed changes should be discussed. “The main thing is that everyone should work in equal conditions, compete. Some speak openly, honestly on TV. Everyone sees this. Some may like what they say, others do not… Some love to remain anonymous. Why would not they openly write on the internet and put their signature. What are they afraid of,” Alexander Lukashenko asked. The president urged all to openly voice their positions and discuss the draft amendments to the law. The government will keep control over the information related to terrorism, calls or popularization of other negative processes.

Belarus president comments on journalist education

The problem of understaffing in mass media was in the focus of the meeting between Belarus President Alexander Lukashenko and heads and journalists of the country's largest state-run mass media on 10 April, BelTA has learned. Journalists of the Belarusian State TV and Radio Company talked about what they called a disturbing trend: the deficit of TV journalists, although relevant educational programs are available in Belarus. Alexander Lukashenko stressed the need to select those people who will be in demand after graduation. Journalism is a special job, he added. It is important for the Faculty of Journalism to enroll those who are into journalism and will be working in mass media after graduation. “Thos who have graduated from the university should be working in their major,” the head of state believes. The president urged to solve the problem of understaffing in mass media. He also spoke in favor of the proposal brought forward by the TV journalists: to work at schools with those students who want to become journalists. The head of state compared journalism with the IT industry which has also been paying an increased attention to future specialists. It is important to spot talents among young people in the rural areas, Alexander Lukashenko underlined. According to Head of the Belarus President Administration Natalya Kochanova, today there are about 1,200 students studying journalism in four Belarusian universities. She views the problem under discussion as very important. The official remarked that companies and organizations sometimes refuse to offer internships to students. At the same time there are many opportunities in the country for the creative development of both students and journalists, Natalya Kochanova said an mentioned creative contests as an example. In her words, proper attention will be given to the matters discussed at the meeting. In turn, BelTA's new director general Irina Akulovich touched upon the issue of staffing in regional media outlets. She cited an example from the Mogilev TV and Radio Company which she headed prior to the appointment. When the interns were asked whether they want to get a grade for the internship or learn something, most of them answered they were there to gain knowledge. “I would like it if the regional mass media were not overlooked as long as journalism is under discussion. People should be working everywhere in the same way: in Mogilev, in Brest, and in Minsk. We have the same technologies and tasks everywhere. It is necessary to grow and work in a creative way everywhere,” Irina Akulovich highlighted.

Belarusian TV channels encouraged to rely on national platform

Belarusian TV channels should broadcast using their own platform instead of relying heavily on foreign content. Belarus President Alexander Lukashenko made the relevant statement as he met with representatives of the country's largest state-run mass media on 10 April, BelTA has learned. Alexander Lukashenko said: “These platforms should be Belarusian. It doesn't mean we have a grudge against [Director General of the Russian TV Channel One Konstantin] Ernst. Not at all. He is a normal, creative, and good person. But we need our own content.” As an example the head of state referred to Russian TV series. In his words, the quality of many of them is not so good yet Belarusian TV channels choose to broadcast them. Alexander Lukashenko is convinced that Belarusian TV channels and movie directors are capable of producing good TV series and replacing the Russian ones on the air. According to Marat Markov, head of ZAO Second National Channel (the ONT TV channel), the share of Belarusian content in ONT's broadcasts stands at 46%. Russian content represents the rest. “Increasing the share of our own content by simply 1% will require roughly $130,000 in extra funding within a year,” he stated. Marat Markov noted that it is impossible to increase resources in one go in order to broadcast only genuine Belarusian content. He suggested that sponsors may help Belarusian TV channels make the transition. “We will be able to use the money to develop today's insufficient base. At the moment we lack both manpower and technical resources. Such a practice exists,” said the ONT TV channel head. The president promised that support would be provided to Belarusian TV channels in this regard. “I am ready to support mass media where it is necessary,” he said. The Belarusian TV channels ONT and STV rely heavily on the Russian TV channels Channel One and RenTV respectively. Shareholders of ZAO Second National Channel include the Information Ministry, Belarusbank, and the company Information Technologies Factory. The Belarusian TV channel STV is run by ZAO Stolichnoye Televideniye. Its shareholders are the Information Ministry, the Minsk city administration, the Minsk Oblast administration, and the cable television and Internet access provider Cosmos TV. ZAO Stolichnoye Televideniye also acts as a founder of the TV channel RTR Belarus, which relies heavily on the RTR Planeta platform.

Belarus to set up media center for TV channels

Belarus will set up a media center for TV channels, Belarus President Alexander Lukashenko said as he met with representatives of the country's largest state-run mass media on 10 April, BelTA has learned. The proposal to build such a media center was voiced by Vladimir Pertsov, Director of the Belarus Office of the Interstate TV Company Mir. Alexander Lukashenko noted that he is familiar with the topic. “We will do this. This will be an optimal and sound project,” he noted. The president clarified that the project to set up the media center will not be implemented soon. Now Belarus is gearing up for the European Games. Plans are in place to build a national football stadium, a swimming pool to host world-class competitions. Belarus counts on the support of China with regards to these projects. There is also a need to finish the construction of many social facilities. There is such a media center, for example, in Astana. It represents a single technological platform to ensure high-quality broadcasting of all national media. It has been set up to optimize and upgrade TV production. It is home to eight major TV channels of Kazakhstan, including the Interstate TV Company Mir and three radio stations.

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