Community cleanup and coup. State-run TV teams up with KGB ever so often to come up with narratives

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Community cleanup and coup. State-run TV teams up with KGB ever so often to come up with narratives

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”).

However, by the end of the week, the Saturday community cleanup (“subbotnik”) and the disclosure of another “conspiracy” against the authorities brought the state-run TV back to square one.

The "KGB and ONT" duo offers their investigations as the primary source of information for the state-run channels. When reporting on these investigations, state channels sometimes resort to verbatim formulations, as was the case for the bio of one of the "conspirators" Alexander Feduta.

 

Key narratives can be found in APPENDIX 1.

 

Among the editorials, the prominent one would be the genre of long-running disclosures of opponents — for this, fragments of recordings or screenshots from chats with leaders and activists are often used to dilute the anchor's monologue.

The juxtaposition of the constructive state and the destructive opponents was heavily aired. The main event in this regard was the annual community cleanup (subbotnik), which was to symbolize unity through labor, the cohesion of society in the name of order and peace. Most reports on the subbotnik related to the participation of either Lukashenka or traditionally enthusiastic government officials.

The general response to all the challenges was putting all stakes on toughening the legislation, since the beginning of the spring session of the parliament, coverage of this topic has intensified.

State TV reacts nervously to all cases of pressure or harassment of supporters of the authorities. This time Mukovozchik threatened all enemies, defending Azarenok's family.

The work of the Constitutional Commission lent state-run channels chance to periodically mention some reform initiatives. The proposal to introduce an age limit for voters sent a few ripples across. After gaining much publicity, this idea was actually rejected during the Sunday broadcast by STV.

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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