On February 13 – 14, the Belarusian Association of Journalists jointly with the Media Institute Fojo held a press conference “Mass Media in Belarus: Challenges and Chances”.
The conference was dedicated to the issues of media legislation, standards of journalism and economic environment of media development. Invited participants of the conference included Belarusian and foreign media representatives, representatives of journalistic unions, as well as representatives of governmental institutions, such as the President’s Administration, two Ministries, Parliament, Embassies, and the OSCE (it should be mentioned here that most representatives of state institutions ignored the invitation).
The speakers were Andrei Bastunets (BAJ), Agneta Söderberg (Fojo media Institute, Sweden), Aidar Botagarov (Office of the OSCE Representative on Freedom of the Media), Alena Anisim and Hanna Kanapatskaya (members of Parliament, Belarus), Aleh Aheyeu (BAJ), Arif Aliyev (journalists’ organization Yeni Nesil, Azerbaijan), Dainius Radzevičius (the Journalists’ Union of Lithuania), Boris Navasardian (Yerevan Press Club), Olena Golub (Institute of Mass Information, Ukraine), Mikhail Yanchuk (BAJ).
“We wanted to focus on major challenges faced by the media in legal and economic spheres as well as issues in journalism standards. The main goal was to create a platform for discussion between journalistic community and representatives of state bodies and representatives of journalistic organizations from other countries, in order to reflect on our standpoint, burning issues and ways to solve them,” explains Andrei Bastunets, chairperson of BAJ.
In the second half of February 13, the Nobel Prize Laureate in literature and honored member of BAJ Sviatlana Alexievich spoke and answered questions of the audience, with online streaming of the discussion (video in Russian can be found here).