Zhanna Litvina, Chairman, Belarusian Association of Journalists

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Zhanna Litvina, Chairman, Belarusian Association of Journalists

Zhanna Litvina, a professional journalist, became widely known during the years of perestroika when she set up the programBelaruskaya Maladzezhnaya on Belarusian state radio. At a time when many topics were forbidden, program reporters were giving the truth about everything that was going on.

The program was closed shortly before the first presidential elections in 1995: the authorities felt that Litvina provided too many opportunities for opposition candidates to promote their election programs. But even after Alexander Lukashenko had won the elections, “Belaruskaya Maladzezhnayawas not back on airthough it was his speech that shut down the program.

Then, Zhanna Litvina established the private radio stationRadio 101.2”. It found its audience, though many people warned Litvina that a radio station in the Belarusian language might not be popular. However, the talented media manager Litvina solved this problem so successfully that she frightened the authorities once again and, shortly before the referendum in 1996, the radio was closed again.

Today Litvina focuses on providing professional support to journalists.

Since 1995 she has led the Belarusian Association of Journalists (BAJ), awarded the Sakharov Prize for Freedom of Thought award by the European Parliament. BAJ responds to every infringement of the rights of a journalist in an attempt to defend freedom of expression. Though the situation in Belarus becomes more grave, optimistic Litvina believes that the information era will not allow the dictatorship to last forever.

Zhanna Litvina on the perspectives of independent journalism in Belarus, Zhanna Litvina about official public television, Zhanna Litvina banned from international travel

Author: Handbook on Belarus for International journalists