Enduring values always remaining in fashion

8th International Media Forum has brought together in Minsk journalists from 15 countries of the world to attract attention to historical-cultural heritage issue
By Lyudmila Ivanova

Not so long ago, the word ‘media’ seemed exotic; our era of information explosion has opened the doors more widely but guidelines and principles remain important. The Belarusian International Media Forum was recently held for the eighth time: Partnership for the Future: How Historical and Cultural Heritage Influences Unity. Hosted by the National Library, the famous ‘diamond’ of glass and metal, the event was set against a backdrop of the best editions, as director Roman Motulsky emphasised.

This year, representatives of 15 countries took part in the forum, welcomed by Information Minister Oleg Proleskovsky. He commented, “In an era of rapid development of information and communication technologies, cultural dialogue is the surest path towards each other. The guiding principles of journalism remain responsibility, humanity and civic duty. The forum aims to focus journalists’ attention on our historical, spiritual and humanitarian heritage. It’s important that representatives of various countries meet to talk so we’re creating the conditions for this.”

Deputy Foreign Minister Yelena Kupchina stressed that the forum’s topic is particularly relevant in the light of Belarus’ presidency of the CIS, the motto of which is ‘integration for human benefit’. The Chairman of the Minsk City Executive Committee, Nikolai Ladutko, enthusiastically told guests about Minsk and the new library building; the floor in the conference room, being transparent, gives a sensation of flying.

Valery Kazakov, Chairman of the Federal National Cultural Autonomy of Belarusians of Russia, noted, “I’ve participated in this media forum previously; it’s one of the most significant events of the year for me. As a former journalist, I’m interested in everything going on here. Our media should be connecting people and ideas.”

A comprehensive report of the plenary meeting was prepared by the Director of the Caucasus Media Institute, Alexander Iskandaryan, who asserted, “Media in the post-Soviet territory is divided, with those in distant lands lacking the information being shared between neighbouring countries. The use of our shared Russian language (retained by those from former Soviet times) is crucial.”

The Director of Zvezda Publishing House, Ales Karlyukevich, is convinced that the Belarusian media have much to be proud of in the field of cultural relations. He explained, “At the forum, we presented the Harmony of Hearts project: a joint effort by the Ministry of Information, the Union of Writers of Belarus and Zvezda Publishing House. It reflects post-Soviet literary trends from the past two decades and has resulted in four books being published — in Belarusian-Russian, Belarusian-Azerbaijani, Belarusian-Kazakhstani and Belarusian-Armenian. We’re now printing a Belarusian-Ukrainian edition. Each includes works by contemporary writers and poets from our countries.” The Minsk forum also announced the results of the Art of Books international CIS contest.

Mir and Nesvizh are unique historical-cultural sites for hosting media events, with Mir having recently welcomed journalists discussing The Mass Media: Our Historic Mission to Preserve and Develop Historical and Cultural Heritage, Language and National Literature as Factors in the Unity and Sovereignty of Nations.

A traditional summer school of journalism is being organised for tomorrow’s media experts, through the press club, at Nesvizh. The theme is the new image of cultural journalism: World Historical and Cultural Heritage Sites in the Context of the State’s Policy of Regional Development.
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