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Monitoring of State TV Narratives in Belarus

Issue 1 (29/06/2020 – 5/07/2020)


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”).

Executive Summary

The share of ideological content on state TV has varied from day to day and was strongest on Belarus’s Independence Day (July 3) as well as during the final Sunday broadcasts on July 5. The proportion of the news stories with strongly articulated ideological narratives ranged from 45% to 71%.

The main ideologemes of state TV over the past week have been as follows: paternalism, the decisive role of the state in solving the problems of various areas of life (statism), the orientation towards assertive state regulation of the economy and public life (dirigisme), state patriotism and conservatism (“value what we have”), and a focus on the personal contribution of Alexander Lukashenko to solving the country’s problems and linking its independence with his rule (personalism). Auxiliary narratives were the focus on instability abroad and combating dangerous informational influences.

The Conflictogenity Index, based on 1-10 scale, was highest on the first day of monitoring (an average of 3.7 for all three channels), and then decreased during the week. On Sunday July 5 it rose to 3.3.

The Reform-orientation Index (which assesses recognition of the need to reform certain areas) in the state TV news stories was 3 out of 10 on the first day of monitoring. Then it decreased and did not exceed 1-2 points during the week.

The Pluralism Index (which assesses the presence of alternative viewpoints, critical reports and statements) showed a similar dynamic. During the week, on average for the three channels, it did not exceed 2 out of 10 points, reaching 2 points only on the first and the last days of monitoring.

The Level of Information Policy Coordination (repeating story structures, duplication of opinions, positions and ideologemes) was high on all three channels (from 5 to 9 points on a 1-10 scale). This indicator’s value peaked on June 29 and July 2, when state TV abundantly covered events involving the president.

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.


Смотрите также

Польша стала пристанищем для многих беларусов, спасающихся от репрессий, и бегущих от войны украинцев. А ещё – главной мишенью для беларусских пропагандистов. Чтобы дискредитировать Польшу, они манипулировали историей и использовали миграционный кризис на границе Беларуси и ЕС.

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