Updated at 15:27,23-09-2020

BAJ chairperson: It is hard to understand information ministry's logic

Euroradio

The warnings pronounced by the Ministry of Information to Yezhednevnik and Nasha Niva were unexpected, Andrei Bastunets, chairperson of the Belarusian Association of Journalists, told Euroradio.

Both warnings were pronounced on March 2. Yezhednevnik was accused of discrediting the Belarusian Army by publishing an inappropriate photo in an article about the Belarusian Armed Forces. Nasha Niva published false information ‘discrediting the results of the state demographic policy’, the Ministry of Information claimed.

Bastunets does not understand officials, he told Euroradio:

Bastunets: "I cannot understand the logic of the Ministry of Information at the moment when the relations with Europe are improving.”


Such warnings could not be pronounced in any other normal country, the BAJ chairperson believes. This may have serious consequences: if an edition gets warned twice a year in Belarus, it may be closed down.

Bastunets recalled the situation in the sphere of mass media in 2014-2015: a number of newspapers were warned during the financial crisis back then. These warnings may also be connected with the economic situation, the expert thinks. Warnings pronounced by the authorities are supposed to make editions refrain from the critical coverage of crisis phenomena.