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The Least Open Governmental Institutions for Journalists – the Operational and Analytical Centre, the Ministry of Information and the KGB

03.08.2017 Source: BAJ Press Service

They are followed by the Council of the Republic, the Ministry of Defense and the Presidential Administration.

The Belarusian Association of Journalists inquired the Belarusian journalists as for the promptness of receiving information from the main governmental agencies and organizations.

50 authors from the mainstream state and non-state media took part in the survey. Among other, they represented such periodicals as ‘Soviet Byelorussia’, ‘Zviazda’, ‘Nasha Niva’, ‘Kamsamolskaya Pravda in Byelorussia’, ‘TUT.BY’, ‘BelaPAN’ news agency and other media.

The colleagues were asked to assess the degree of openness of different governmental institutions for journalists with the use of the 10-point grading scale.

The maximum points were traditionally given to the Ministry of Emergency Situations, the Court system of Belarus, the Ministry of Sports and Tourism, as well as the Ministry of Forestry.

At the same time, the journalists named the Operative and Analytical Centre at the President of Belarus, the Ministry of Information, and the KGB as the least open governmental institutions in the country.

 

 

– The survey results are very illustrative. They show the readiness of ministries and governmental agencies to conduct their direct duties, i.e. to provide journalists with operative and correct information in the scope of their responsibility. It includes the work of press-services, responses to inquiries, dissemination of official releases etc.

It is very pleasant to see that quite a few of state institutions work professionally and responsively with mass media. Still, journalists come across obstacles in getting information from ministries and governmental agencies practically every day. It is a great pity indeed that the smallest points have been given by our colleagues to such important governmental institutions as the Operational and Analytical Centre, the Ministry of Information, and the KGB. It looks like these governmental organizations should think over the change of approaches in their work, - noted Barys Haretski, BAJ Council member, who initiated the survey.

It is important to note that the journalists were asked to evaluate the openness of governmental structures they regularly contact in their work. In order to ensure the better accuracy of results, the final table included the governmental structures, whose work had been evaluated by at least 10 media workers within the research.

It should be mentioned that the BAJ conducted similar surveys in the years of 2013 and 2015. The inquired journalists named the work of the Ministry of Information, the Ministry of Labour and Social Defense as well as the Ministry of Health Care as the worst in the country in the past.

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