Statement of the NGO “Belarusian Association of Journalists” in connection with the current state of affairs with TV channel “Belsat”
The Public Association “Belarusian Association of Journalists” is concerned about the plans of the Polish authorities to radically reform the TV channel “Belsat”, significantly reducc funding of the single TV station aimed at the Belarusian viewer.
The NGO “Belarusian Association of Journalists” expressed support for colleagues from the TV channel “Belsat”, who for nine years have created a decent information product and who are now at risk of staying without a job.
We believe that “Belsat” TV channel has become one of the most important elements of the national media system. De facto, it performs in the Belarusian information space the role that the Belarusian state TV is still unwilling to perform. “Belsat” is a source of balanced information about events in the country and in the world aimed at Belarusian audience.
The NGO “Belarusian Association of Journalists” draws the attention of the Polish authorities to the fact that “Belsat”, among other things, is an effective bridge between the Belarusian and Polish peoples, it is a tool for building good relations between them. This role is particularly relevant in times of informational confrontation with Kremlin propaganda for protection of objective journalism’s standards.
For us, “Belsat” is not only a decent TV product, but above all, it is about two hundred professional Belarusian journalists who decided to work at the channel and in the event of its closure will remain socially vulnerable — without work, without a livelihood and with a reputation of critics of the current government, which denies them the possibility of employment in Belarus.
The NGO “Belarusian Association of Journalists” is convinced that Belarus is in great need of national public television, and a significant restriction of “Belsat’s” activities would significantly delay this and contribute to the spread of propaganda in Belarus, devoid of the counterweight, which all these years has been shown by a Belarusian national-oriented channel “Belsat”.
Board of Public Association “Belarusian Association of Journalists”
On December 18, Minister of Foreign Affairs of Poland Witold Waszczykowski said in an interview with Wpolityce.pl that the Polish government plans to create a single broadcast channel for Poles living abroad instead of “Belsat” TV channel.