It’s blowback. State-run TV gloating over the domestic turmoil in the countries that used to pressure Belarus

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It’s blowback. State-run TV gloating over the domestic turmoil in the countries that used to pressure Belarus

Monitoring of State TV Narratives in Belarus (26/10/2020 – 01/11/2020)

EXECUTIVE SUMMARY

The week after the end of the term of Tsikhanouskaya's ultimatum only strengthened the state-run TV’s commitment to political confrontation. 

The whole week the air was dominated by the idea of a "boomerang effect" — the retribution for Poland, Ukraine, Lithuania, and even the United States for supporting the protests in Belarus: their concerns about the democracy in Belarus were overshadowed by their own domestic issues.

The share of ideological stories remained around 90%. 

The focus on the law enforcement, possible sabotage, terrorist attacks and toughening of the fight against "extremists" were in the center of attention of Aliaxandr Lukashenka and, accordingly, of the state channels.

In response to ongoing protests, TV highlighted the vital role of the state for various groups, while carbon-copied stories called for the appreciation of the government's paternalistic efforts, including free education. Another narrative was the failure of strikes. On the contrary, the students’ protests were acknowledged and reported as consisting primarily of freeloaders.

The coverage of the second wave of the coronavirus was dominated by reports on the achievements of the country’s healthcare and the gravity of the situation in the world. This was manifested even in statistical reports focusing on the number of people who recovered in Belarus and the global incidence rate.

Key narratives can be found in APPENDIX 1

Reformism in the stories of the state TV was of a formal nature, manifested either as a discussion of changes in specific industries, or as messages for the future with reference to the upcoming All-Belarusian People's Assembly. 
 

There were no significant signs of pluralism; fragments of the protesters' opinions were quoted only to illustrate their aggressiveness.

The uniformity of broadcasting remained at the same levels, some very similar reports, such as stories about achievements in the field of higher education, were repeated on all three channels on the same day.

The project “Monitoring of State TV Narratives in Belarus” is implemented by Sense Analytics in partnership with Press Club Belarus and with the support of Konrad-Adenauer-Stiftung. The author of the weekly reports is Maxim Stefanovich, the editor and coordinator of the project is Artyom Shraibman. The authors of the project thank the SATIO team for their help with illustrating the monitoring results.

To see the full version of the report in Russian click here.

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