Double-think by the State-run TV: the TUT.BY case is that of tax fraud, but they are still the enemy of the state


Double-think by the State-run TV: the TUT.BY case is that of tax fraud, but they are still the enemy of the state

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 death of the pilots was used, among other things, to lash out at the opponents.


Key narratives can be found in APPENDIX 1.


Maintaining safety and preventing risks was one of the main narratives of the week. Traditional descriptions of external and internal threats were used to substantiate the need for an earlier adopted Decree and expanding the powers of the Security Council. The general message was the need to hedge against attempts to forcefully change the status quo.

One of the main conflictogenic subjects was the TUT.BY case. The state channels were not very consistent. On the one hand, they tried to prove the purely economic corpus delicti of the case. On the other hand, they also denounced the anti-state bearing of the portal. Special focus was on the topic traditional for the state-run TV — lamenting the wealth the company leached off at the expense of benefits offered by the state.

Within the framework of attacks on opponents, state channels repeatedly try showcasing new "sensational footage".

This time, the spotlight was on the prank of Vovan and Lexus, which, according to state channels, proves the deep involvement of American funds in the affairs of Belarus, and on the testimony of Semyon Semenchenko, which was also interpreted as evidence of Kiev's active operation against the Belarusian authorities.

Sunday news programs already included stories about the Ryanair flight incident. The presenters argued that the forced landing was justified and fully in line with international rules, and the Belarusian authorities only provided the necessary assistance. Roman Protasevich was referred to as a sacrifice by the opposition, but the anchors acknowledged he was deemed an important source of information.

Reform attitudes during the week were associated with the promotion of a single voting day, the strengthening of the Security Council, the possibility of expanding the powers of the capital city local self-government.


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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