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 topic of Chernobyl was inextricably linked with the praise of the wise decisions of Lukashenka, who had put stakes on the revival of the affected territories, despite the criticism of unnamed opponents and advice-givers. As part of this topic, trips of pro-government bloggers, car rallies, filming of special stories describing the achievements of the state were organized.
Key narratives can be found in APPENDIX 1.
The Russian vector in the context of the meeting between Lukashenka and Putin was described in a traditional way. On the one hand, the presenters emphasized common challenges, a common view on issues of historical politics and security. At the same time, assumptions about the surrender of sovereignty were rejected and integration issues were considered mainly in the context of economic cooperation.
The anti-Western and, in particular, the anti-American campaign was closely connected with the exposure of the conspiracy against Lukashenka, which was pinned on the United States, directly or indirectly. This conspiracy was put on a par with the notorious deaths of leaders of states, including the assassination of Kennedy, Gaddafi, and the execution of Hussein.
Legislative opposition to protest activity (the “white-red-white-hysteria”) continued to be widely reported. The adoption of new bills of the kind was seen as a necessary and timely measure.
Here the state channels refer to the world experience and try to show that Belarus is no worse or even better than the leading countries.
The topic of relations with Kiev was intensified by Lukashenka's meeting with Ukrainian MP Shevchenko. He was praised for his Minsk-friendly position, while the Ukrainian leadership was reproached for ingratitude; other praises concerned the merits of Minsk, including the negotiation platform, electricity supply to Ukraine and regional cooperation.
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.