From calls to attack the protesters to national unity. State-run TV is getting ready to the All-Belarusian People's Assembly

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From calls to attack the protesters to national unity. State-run TV is getting ready to the All-Belarusian People's Assembly

Monitoring of State TV Narratives in Belarus (01/02/2021 – 07/02/2021)

EXECUTIVE SUMMARY

Informational preparation for the All-Belarusian People's Assembly became the main topic for the state TV last week. National Unity being high on the agenda did not reduce the potential for conflict in broadcasting.

The usual criticism of the opponents and hate speech towards then have now reached a new low in calls for physical attacks (breaking windows of residents of the Novaya Borovaya neighborhood).

Key narratives can be found in APPENDIX 1.

The conversation about the fateful significance of the Assembly further promoted the image of a consolidated country on the eve of the highest manifestation of democracy, which is hindered only by the intrigues of ill-wishers trying to disrupt the forum. In particular, state TV was outraged by the persecution of Assembly delegates and threats to include them in the sanctions lists.

State-run TV channels devoted a lot of time to the issue of prices for medicines after the abolition of VAT benefits. They tried to make private businesses primarily responsible for the price hike while emphasizing the efforts of the state, including prices monitoring.

The Ukrainian topic has become one of the main vehicles for the state-run TV as the the TV channels "112 Ukraine", NewsOne and ZIK were taken off the air. State-run TV expressed full solidarity with the channels and talked about censorship and pressure on journalism. The emphasis was on the "external control" of Ukraine, its lack of independence and the growing crisis.

State-run TV has started laying the information groundwork for the upcoming court hearing of the Belgazprombank case. The emphasis was on the responsibility of Viktor Babariko, but unlike the previous exposing cycles by ATN and ONT, nothing was said about the involvement of high-ranking Russian officials.

Reform attitudes were mainly reduced to a possible change in legislation at the spring session.

Except for the editorials, the content of the news broadcast remained predominantly uniform, some stories were repeated almost word for word.

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.

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