Journalist Guide

Main page » Journalist Guide

Holding the Front line

Holding the Front line Note to visiting journalist. When in Belarus spare a thought for the hundreds of Belarusian journalists who have spent the past two decades struggling to keep the flame...read more ...

Overview

OverviewIndependent media in Belarus is struggling to survive. Higher costs of printing and paper, a ban on commercial advertisements, and a lack of access to the distribution...read more ...

Print media

Print mediaOn April 1, 2012 there were 1,411 print media outlets registered, of which 404 are state-run and 1,007 private. Every print edition is required to obtain a license from...read more ...

Television and radio

Television and radioAs of 1 January 2012, there were 162 radio broadcast stations and 81 television broadcast stations in Belarus. 23 radio stations and 50 TV broadcast stations were...read more ...

Online media

Online mediaControl over the Internet is centralized with the government-owned Beltelecom managing the country’s Internet gateway. Recent studies by Gemius have shown that...read more ...

Distribution

Distribution The main distributor of print press is the Republican Unitary Enterprise “Belsoyuzpechat”. The postal and telegraph agency was founded in 1918, becoming part...read more ...

Forced subscription

Forced subscription There is a tacit obligation imposed on state-owned enterprises, educational and culture establishments to subscribe to the main national state newspapers in order to...read more ...

Threats to independent media

Threats to independent media Some of the most vague and vulnerable articles are those of the Criminal code defaming or discrediting the Republic of Belarus, the president. According to the legal...read more ...

Repressions against journalists

Repressions against journalistsAfter the presidential elections in December, 2010 Belarusian authorities started a wave of repressions against oppositional activists, human rights defenders and...read more ...

How can I get accreditation?

If you plan to work as a journalist while in Belarus, you should apply for accreditation at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Belarus. There are two types of accreditation: permanent (valid for up to 1 year) and temporary (valid for up to 2 months). For the application process and to download...read more ...

What happens if I get caught working without accreditation?

Work without accreditation is prohibited: if you are caught doing journalistic activities unaccredited, you can be deported and your publication will be denied accreditation for half a year; You might receive the status of persona non-grata and will be denied visas without any explanation. Bear...read more ...

Can I get accreditation if Im a freelancer?

Yes, but you have to have a report commissioned and get a letter from whoever commissioned you to do a report there, signed by the editor of that media. They do not have to specify whether you work for them on a permanent or a freelance basis, they can still refer to you as "our correspondent" in...read more ...

How can I apply for a visa?

Once you have accreditation, you need to get a visa, unless your country has signed an agreement with Belarus. See visa requirements There are three main types of visas: business, guest, or tourist. They can be issued for various lengths of time, depending on the purpose of your visit:...read more ...

What should I expect on the border?

You will be asked to fill in a migration card. You need to keep this safe because you will be asked to return it when you leave the country, and also if you are stopped by a policeman in the street for a document check. read more ...

What other red tape is there?

If you stay for longer than five working days, you will need to register. Only citizens of Latvia, Lithuania, Russia and Ukraine can stay without registration for up to 30 days. If you are staying at a hotel, this will be taken care of by the hotel. If you are staying in a private apartment, you...read more ...

Do I need accreditation for special events, once Im in Belarus?

Having accreditation from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs does not mean that you will easily get to any event. For work at some important events, especially with officials, you need to contact the organizational committee and find out if there is any additional accreditation required (for...read more ...

What should I do if I am detained?

The basic rule is to be polite and not to panic. You cannot be detained for longer than three hours for ID checks. During this time, your identity and other documents will be checked. The law enforcement representatives must introduce themselves; they must show their police ID on request and be...read more ...

What can I expect if I am arrested?

A protocol of detention will be made up as well as a protocol of the possessions that you have on you at the time. If an administrative offense is registered, the trial should take place within 72 hours. You are entitled to legal aid and translation, if needed. read more ...

How can I safely transmit information?

Bear in mind that all phone conversations can be followed and even recorded. The post-office is not a reliable way of sending valuable and confidential information. To avoid tapping, you can call via Skype or Viber or use another secure connection. Also you might consider encrypting your e-mails...read more ...

Whats the internet connection like in public places?

Most cafes, restaurants and bars have good wifi connection, also there are paccess point where you can use the Internet, etc, but some require you to give your ID in order to use it and some limit the amount of time you can use it.read more ...

Can I take photos?

It is forbidden to take photos of government-owned buildings. These include railway stations, Minsk underground, any military or KGB buildings, and ministries. Also, in state institutions, such as court, executive committees etc., you should ask official representatives (the judge, the chairperson...read more ...

What safety precautions can I take?

On arrival make sure that you have contacts of your embassy. If you are expecting some problems, inform the embassy representatives that you have arrived in the country, or ask your employer to inform the embassy with a letter, saying you are in Belarus working as a journalist. Information on...read more ...

How can I avoid getting ripped off?

If you plan to exchange foreign currency, go to an exchange office at a bank. In taxis, make sure the meter is switched on. Generally, it’s best to ask a friend for help if you plan any major transactions. read more ...

Where can I read more about my rights as a journalist?

International journalists working in Belarus should refer to the Constitution of the Republic of Belarus (), the “Law on Mass Media” and “Regulations for the Accreditation of Foreign Journalists in Belarus”. Important legislation relevant for journalists: “Legal...read more ...