The purpose of this monitoring is to study how the Belarusian state conveys its ideological narrative. The most important mechanism for conveying its narrative is the evening broadcast. Then the informational function of media is complemented, and sometimes replaced by, the broadcasting of official ideological messages. We monitor the outputs of the Agency of the Television News (ATN), which prepares the news broadcasts for the Belarus-1 channel (“Panorama” and Sunday’s “Main Airtime”), the channel ONT (“Our News”, “Saturday’s Edition” and “Contours”), and the channel STV (“24 Hour News” and “The Week”).
The case of the arrest and statements of Protasevich was used as evidence of uncovering the plans of the “foreign coordinators” of the protests.
The assessments by the state-run TV ranged from purely mercantile explanations of the opponents' activities to descriptions of large-scale insidious plans of the West with regard to Belarus and Russia.
Key narratives can be found in APPENDIX 1.
Considerable airtime was given to the indignation about the imposed flight bans, which was interpreted as a politicized reaction or the plot to strangle a competitor — the Belavia air carrier. The deepening of allied relations with Russia was proclaimed in response to "unprecedented external pressure".
Despite the calls typical for the state-run TV not to involve minors in politics, Children's Day became a pretext for another information campaign. In addition to the usual emphasis on the state's care for children, there were cases of their more active inclusion in the ideologically intensive agenda.
Once again, there were proclamations of the victory over the "incredible" opponents and success in "purging the foreign agents". Justifications of pressure on non-state media continued, the latter being accused of hostile influence and catering to foreign interests.
Periodic mentions of the work on the Constitution, digitalization and changes to the Labor Code can be attributed to reformatory and modernization messages. However, legislative changes are most often of an explicitly restrictive nature.
The project “Monitoring of State TV Narratives in Belarus” is implemented by Sense Analytics in partnership with Press Club Belarus. The author of the weekly reports is Maxim Stefanovich, the editor and coordinator of the project is Artyom Shraibman.
To see the full version of the report in Russian click here.