Since December 10 a first independent TV channel for Belarusians, Belsat, is launched. It is a co-project of Polish government and the Polish public television.
“It will be a usual television. Beside informational and social and political programs, there will be talk-shows, musical programs, programs of human rights, on economy,” the head of the informational service of Belsat Alyaksei Dzikavitski says. As said by him, European films and serials will be mostly broadcasted there, Deuthsche Welle informs.
Better safe than sorry
The personnel of the new Belarusian TV channel is about 80 persons strong, and they are mostly Belarusians. As noted by Belsat’s managing director Agnieszka Romaszewska, journalists will work in the conditions of high security. That is why the names of the future stars of the Belarusian TV journalism are not named yet.
As is known, Lukashenka’s regime is increasingly stamping out every manifestation of independent journalistic word. The methods of work of cameramen and journalists in Belarus are not commented as well. The Polish TV has equipped Belsat staff with small digital cameras, but there is a threat of losing expensive equipment.
“Journalists were imprisoned. They are fined constantly. Newspapers are closed. It is known to everyone. In this situation one cannot ignore protection of our journalists,” A. Dzikavitski said.
As said by the head of the informational service of Belsat, there is a number of ways to protect journalists from possible negative actions of the regime.
“But we shall speak about that when we’ll come on air and the question of accreditation will be solved,” Dzikavitsi added.
New Channel – New Hopes
Belsat channel starts its daily 3-hour broadcasting in testing mode, and since January 8 it will start its work in a normal regime. Among its programs are newscasts, a daily analytical program “Reporter”, and in the future Belarusian documentaries and feature films, concerts and music videos of Belarusian musicians who in fact do not exist for the official Belarusian TV after “black lists” emergence.
By the way, at the ceremony of the TV Channel launching NRM, one of the most prominent music bands of Belarus, will play at the concert in Warsaw.
“It is still too early to believe in a change, but it will affect the situation positively. I hope that there will be a channel where people will be able to see those personalities who for different reasons are absent in the state-run media,” Lyavon Volski said.
Belsat programs will be broadcast via satellite channel which is available for about 700 Belarusians, while Belarusian population is about 9 million 700 thousand people.
According to the Belarusian association of journalists, by October 1 2007 157 radio stations have been registered in Belarus,137 of them being state-owned. Media monitoring emphasizes the force of bullying independent media outlets. Alyaksei Dzikavitski believes that freedom from influence is one of the basic advantages of the new TV channel.
“It is hard to imagine for me that somebody would tell me how to make news. It is absolutely impossible. Belsat’s slogan is: Television made by the Belarusians for the Belarusians,” A. Dzikavitski underlined.