Amendments to the law will especially affect the sites of the .by zone.
The representative of the Belsat TV channel in Belarus Aliaksei Minchonak told about this to Charter97.org, commenting on the amendments to the law on the media, which the "House of Representatives" adopted today in the first reading:
– I believe that amendments to the law on mass media will lead to an increased regulation of the media field. As for our channel, we are now, to put it mildly, are not in big favor with the authorities. Changes, of course, will make our situation worse, but it is not easy anyway.
In my opinion, amendments will highly upset such Internet editions as tut.by, Onliner or citydog.by. While Belsat has always been under the pressure of the authorities. Our journalists have already been fined more than 10 thousand dollars since the beginning of the year.
In general, today's events did not disappoint me much. Moreover, we did not have much hope that these amendments would not get adopted today. We will live as before, just in a slightly different environment. Our lawyers are now analyzing the new legislation.
Belsat is not in the .by domain zone, therefore, fortunately, the obligatory identification of commentators will not affect us. Those web sites that are in the .by zone, that is, their editorial offices are located directly in Belarus, are more likely to face that.
I want to note that we are officially a foreign media, which should have accreditation in Belarus, which, unfortunately, we do not have. The fact that Internet resources will have to register as mass media will complicate the work of the same tut.by or Onliner.
Now the state bodies cannot ignore their journalists, and with the introduction of amendments they will have the opportunity to do so. If they are not registered, state agencies can say "no, you are not registered as a media, so you do not have journalists." As a result, journalists, for example, will not be allowed to attend various events: press conferences, briefings and so on.