Survey on online media in Belarus

By EDRi · March 1, 2006

During 6 January – 6 February 2006, conducted a survey of
Belarusian online media by selecting 10 very different websites of various
types, as well as with different political attitudes. The selection was
made on the basis of the average number of visitors per day.

The analysis of the 10 selected online news resources revealed that 58% of
the total number of news is taken from national online and offline resources
and 37% from foreign sources. 5% of the total number of news is presented
without mentioning its sources. National press agencies cover 34% of the
news, 38% news comes from foreign sources (out of which 27% from Russia), 8%
of news is taken from each other and only 5% of the total number of news is
original content.

The major sources for Belarusian online media are national press agencies
Belapan and Belta, Russian, Interfax and Belarusian service of
Radio Free Europe website.

In spite of the technological developments and the occurrence of new online
tools, Belarusian online media seem to basically use traditional journalism
techniques. The number and quality of Belarusian media online is at an early
stage, most of them being news sites with very limited editorial news and
some form of participatory communication.

The survey revealed that out of all the media in Belarus, only 6% have
online presence.

Based on statistics and the users evaluation, the survey also showed some
concern related to the accuracy and objectivity of the news presented on
these websites.

The European Commission has recently announced the creation of a new
EU-funded Belarus radiostation in an attempt to create a more pluralistic
media landscape. They started broadcasting on 26 February 2006. The
pre-election radio broadcasts will be aired on medium wave and streamed on
the Internet. Broadcasts will also be available as podcasts.

Belarusian Mass Media Online (28.02.2006)

Report on Belarusian Online Media Survey (28.02.2006)

Belarus: EU-Funded Broadcasts Set To Begin (24.02.2006)

(Thanks to Mikhail Doroshevich – E-Belarus.ORG)