Monitoring of State TV Narratives in Belarus (07/12/2020 – 13/12/2020)
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”).
STV kept its lead in "opinionated journalism", thanks to its polemical pieces by Mukovozchik, Golikov and others, while Belarus-1 and ONT focused on a detailed description of Lukashenka's schedule and successes in various spheres, as well as on crisis or disastrous nature of developments in Poland, Ukraine, Lithuania and the whole world.
Key narratives can be found in APPENDIX 1
The emphasis on the need for joint efforts of the post-Soviet states to resist "external interference" was repeated many times, integration was presented as a key means of salvation from numerous threats. Lukashenko's statements at the CIS summit have strengthened the integration narrative.
Vitaly Shklyarov's interview was often mentioned for the sake of accusing opponents of intolerance and broadcasting positive assessments of Lukashenko by a “critic”. Famous Russian figures (Pozner, Sobchak, Svanidze) also received their portion of attacks for criticizing the Belarusian authorities.
State channels actively voiced various mechanisms to combat protesters. Traditional stories about the inevitability of liability for the actions were supplemented by detailed descriptions of the system (database) of the Ministry of Internal Affairs for recording protesters.
The reformist attitudes again manifested themselves in the likely expansion of the powers of the All-Belarusian People’s Assembly.
State channels continue to broadcast a set of similar stories and opinions.
Elements of pluralism could be seen only in Yuri Voskresensky's proposal to hold a political amnesty.