Expert said to minister: our legislation is getting far from democratic standards
Minister of information of Republic of Belarus Oleg Proleskovsky expressed his opinion about treatment of the topic on presidential elections in Belarusian mass media.
As to officer, information on the topic is more then enough with a glance of Internet. The reader could get objective information from the official sources or to get to know position of oppositional web sites, what are mostly prejudiced. The officer underlined separately decree of the President on the Internet regulation. "When the document was discussed "our conscious" have cried: "All internet sources will be closed". Nothing is closed, all oppositional websites work", - BELTA quotes O. Proleskovsky.
The Minister convinced that there is no dictate in the mass media in the republic – media is free in its choice. The channel or edition execution is the only decision maker about what and in what amount to write.
Head of the department compared the treatment of the topic in 2006 and considered that the amount of information did not become less or more in state as well as in oppositional mass media. As to his opinion, "we shouldn’t clang and force the journalist to write more about elections".
However as the news portal www.UDF.BY reported, the monitoring of 18 electronic and printed mass media presented last week by public association "Belarusian association of journalists" showed other things. As to media expert Ales Antipenko, the topic of the elections was not among priorities of the state mass media in the first period of the electoral campaign.
"The topic of presidential elections was not among priorities in this period for state electronic and printed mass media. Reports on the topic took 2 or 3 times less space then the reports on the weather in the state media", - said the BAJ representative.
Vise chairman of BAJ Andrey Alexandrov commented the statements of the minister at the instance of news portal www.UDF.BY. He considers that "diversity of opinions, candidates and events, connected with the electoral campaign is presented only in the independent editions".
"State media, which are dominant in our media space due to certain reasons, traditionally announce different stages of the electoral campaign and from the possible candidates "notice" only the one – the current head of the state which is constantly on the TV. So I would dispute with the mister minister about what media gives "objective data", and who has often "à prejudiced position" – expert underlined.
Other words of Oleg Proleskovsky perplexed the vice president of BAJ: "The phrases like "force the journalist to write more about elections" said by minister sounds as the definition of the possible arsenal of state methods towards the press, and this citation, I think, says for itself ".
Vice chairman of BAJ recalled, that "all main problems which exist today in Belarusian media field stay unsolved, such as: economical discrimination of independent media, real bounders to informational access, pressure on non-governmental editions by using warning letters".
The expert commented on the expression that "all oppositional web sites work": "Yes, independent internet-editions still do not feel possible negative aspects of Internet regulation. However the legislative database, which is oriented to the setting of the Internet control, is being made in the country systematically. What does it made for and why does it happen before the most important political campaign?"
According to the words of A. Alexandrov, the independent journalist associations within the country and a number of powerful international organizations "appeal to Belarusian authority to start reformation of media legislation. It should be made to approximate it to international standards in the freedom of speech. Besides such appeals and proposals about expert help are ignored by the authorities, – our legislation is getting far from democratic standards".