Belarusian state-run mass media should have an honest and objective conversation with the audience in order to hold attention of viewers, readers and listeners in complicated conditions of the media space, Belarus President Aleksandr Lukashenko said as he met with heads of the country’s biggest state-run media outlets on 11 February.
“We face a lot from both sides. It is extremely important to catch and hold people’s attention in these complicated conditions. It is also important not to lose trust of viewers, readers and listeners. Mass media should have an honest and objective conversation with people and convey our position to them. You can do better here,” the head of state said.
Aleksandr Lukashenko mentioned an honest position, absence of fake interpretations of events as positive features which differentiate Belarusian mass media from a number of foreign sources. “Belarusian mass media, thank goodness, convey different topics and information in an absolutely honest way,” the head of state said.
However, he remarked that Belarusian television coverage is sometimes not as good as foreign coverage. “Camerawork, storytelling… We are lagging behind. Please think what you can improve.”
Speaking about television, including an online video segment, Aleksandr Lukashenko emphasized the importance of high-quality presentation of visual information. “First watch, then listen. I am keeping an eye on all your products, especially television ones. And mere talk that the Internet will completely edge out television is false. At least 55-60% of the population will watch TV regularly,” the president said.
The head of state acknowledged that there are new trends involving the possibility to spread information through the Internet, but expressed confidence that other mass media are also in demand today. “May online media be a supplement to traditional ones at this stage. Maybe, they [online media] are currently going stride for stride with traditional media; maybe, they are slightly better in certain aspects. But traditional media will always exist,” the Belarusian leader stressed.
The head of state added that mass media are often too focused on numbers, and it is a mistake. He stressed that there are leaders in every society – people who shape views and lead the way.