They failed in 1941, they are set to fail now. State-run TV adopts draws a parallel between the West and the Third Reich

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They failed in 1941, they are set to fail now. State-run TV adopts draws a parallel between the West and the Third Reich

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 emphasis was on the near coincidence of the dates of the German attack on the USSR and the imposition of sanctions.

Key narratives can be found in APPENDIX 1.

State-run TV sought to prove the selfish motives of the actions of the West, which unleashed an economic war to destroy the Belarusian industries. Geopolitical conclusions were also made about the existence of a long-standing plan for the mastery over the resources of Russia and other countries. In fact, Nazism and World War II turned out to be not historical phenomena, but only manifestations of eternal confrontation.

Although the state-run channels assessed the motives and actions of the West in extremely dramatic terms, in parallel, they carried the tune of the economy's resilience to sanctions-related shocks and even the sanctions being impulse for positive changes. By the end of the week, conclusions about the ineffectiveness of the sanctions were heard more often.

In confronting these challenges, the main role was played by the narrative of the unity of the leader and the people, the fruitful actions by Lukashenka.

The reporting on Lukashenka’s trips served as examples of such unity. This scope of this unity only includes the supporters of the authorities. On the contrary, active opponents are increasingly “excluded from the number of Belarusians”.

A similar theme of the leader-benefactor was observed in relation to the Orthodox Church, since the state-run channels did not fail to mention the personal role of Lukashenka in the restoration of churches and the protection of Orthodoxy.

Reform attitudes were manifested in the stories on the work of the constitutional commission and the parliamentary session, which, nevertheless, were dwarfed by the main conflict-intensive topics and did not always get into the final news programs. It was reported that many provisions of the Constitution need no amendments.

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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