20 January 2018, Saturday, 10:12

Ministry of Information prepares a blow to independent websites

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Big and influential Belarusian internet websites will be classified as the media.

This initiative was proposed by deputy minister of information Dzmitry Shadko at a meeting of the Commission on Juvenile Affairs at the Council of Ministers, BelTA news agency reports.

The commission discussed launching anti-alcohol and anti-drugs campaigns on the internet and the role of the media in them.

Dzmitry Shadko noted that a working group of representatives of relative agencies was set up. “We propose a number of amendments to the Law on the Media to classify the most popular and influential internet resources as the media so that they can bear legal responsibility (up to revoking a licence) for spreading information,” the deputy minister said.

Dzmitry Shadko added that a staffing problem must be solved to organise an effective internet campaign on fighting negative social phenomena.

“Internet resources should have the editorial staff that will carry out propaganda in a proper manner as psychologists, journalists and other specialist require. Most administrators of websites of government agencies and newspapers have no qualification to properly get the message across to the audience,” he said.

Independent websites are the main source of objective and unbiased information for Belarusians. Their audience is tens and hundreds times more than the number of visitors of official sites. They face obstacles at work, for example they have no access to a number information sources, including those in government bodies, without official registration.