Posted: 13.03.2024 15:00:00

Deputy Head of President Administration: Belarusian media ranked fairly high in digital environment

In 2023, Belarus’ regional media enhanced professionally, and this potential should be increased in the future – as stated by the Deputy Head of the President Administration, Igor Lutsky

Prior to the beginning of a meeting of the Information Ministry’s Board in Minsk on March 12th, Igor Lutsky stressed that the convergence of the Belarusian media environment – which has been worked upon for several years already – is yielding fruits, “I would rather not separate traditional and new media, since the Belarusian mass media have already left the conventional formats (TV, radio and newspapers) in the past. Almost all media outlets have gained momentum in digital operation, and I must admit that our regional media improved their performance seriously last year. Therefore, we simply need to strengthen this potential, use the best practices and the most successful examples of this work for further development.”

As noted by the official, many ideas were worked over to improve the domestic media sphere, and meetings were held at the Belarus President Administration on this issue. “As an example, I can mention a new format of the Minskaya Pravda [Minsk Truth] work. In addition, the work in social networks and the digital environment on the whole is developing well in the Gomel Region. I am sure we should increase our momentum, especially since everyone knows what to do. At the moment, the Belarusian media are at a fairly high level in the digital environment,” he added.

The journalists recalled that, on April 10th, 2023, the President of Belarus signed Decree No. 98, which updated approaches to the national media development and expanded the use of funds for the placement (distribution) of advertising for the creation and promotion of Belarusian content. Answering the question whether this form of state support for national content has justified itself, Mr. Lutsky stressed, “It definitely has. Aleksandr Grigorievich [Lukashenko] supported the mass media initiative in order to finance socially significant projects that arouse the interest among Belarusian viewers and readers. Actually, this has generated good opportunities for the development of the regional printed media that was in the field of view of both the Information Ministry and the President Administration in 2023. In May, a special meeting will be devoted to the regional media, and I would like to thank all the printed media – especially regional one: in my opinion, they are going through good new times and a real rebirth, transforming from simple district outlets to a source of real influence on the audience.”

The official believes the observed process needs to be systematically developed. “We should pay more attention to our educational institutions that train future journalists, addressing the specialised universities where students are taught economics, law and culture: these people can also be good specialists in the field of mass media. So we have something to choose from, and we need to prepare future professionals. I think this is the number one task for 2024,” Mr. Lutsky added.

But as for whether artificial intelligence will replace humans in the field of journalism, the President Administration representative noted, “It will definitely replace in some aspects, but time is needed for this to happen. After all, live communication with the audience and the thoughts generated by the human mind are much more pleasant. At the same time, we cannot exclude artificial intelligence from the race for minds, we need to pay special attention to it – as our Head of State has repeatedly stated.”

Answering a question about the threats and challenges that the Belarusian information space faces, especially on the eve of the upcoming presidential elections, Mr. Lutsky stressed, “These threats and challenges have been accompanying us for quite a long time. We are ready for anything, and our journalists are ready as well. We simply need to enhance our professional level, and then we will be able to cope with everything. Everyone in their workplace should do their job efficiently, generating good information occasions and creatively approaching their profession. We will succeed then.”