Back to the 2000-s. State-run TV Shields the Slavic World from the Putrid West

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Back to the 2000-s. State-run TV Shields the Slavic World from the Putrid West

Monitoring of State TV Narratives in Belarus

(24/08/2020 – 30/08/2020)

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”).

Critics of the color revolutions from Russia and Ukraine dominated the commentators pool. State-Run TV went back to the narratives of the 90s and mid-2000s, when it was argued that the West was waging a spiritual war against Belarus, the Slavic world, Russia, and the post-Soviet territory.

The weaponized and anti-Western narratives (especially the anti-Polish and anti-Lithuanian ones) have become noticeably stronger. The Belarusian model of planned industrialism was highlighted against the backdrop of economic decline in other countries. Lamenting the bullying of supporters of the authorities became a full-fledged ideological topic.

Declarative calls for peace and dialogue did not prevent the use of extremely aggressive rhetoric against the opponents. Notably, they started inserting the Belarusian-language expressions into the negative comments.

Key narratives can be found in APPENDIX 1

The Conflictogenity Index was at 7.8 points, which is close to the all-time record from the previous week.

There was no reformism to be noted this week, on the contrary, the results of reforms in other countries were described in a strictly negative tone.

The level of pluralism was also at its lowest. A moderated discussion of pro-government experts broadcasting the same attitude remained the primary dialogue format.

The ideological consolidation of state TV has significantly reduced the degree of autonomy of each channel. The uniformity of broadcasting remained at an extremely high level (8.1 points out of 10), many news items became the "common property" of state channels.

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.

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