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Opinions & Interviews

8 May 2018

Lyogky: Government officials should learn not to shy away from media

Lyogky: Government officials should learn not to shy away from media

MINSK, 8 May (BelTA) – Heads of government agencies should be taught not to shy away from mass media, Belarus’ Deputy Information Minister Pavel Lyogky said at a session of a working group held to finalize the draft law of the Republic of Belarus “Concerning amendments and addenda to some laws of the Republic of Belarus,” BelTA has learnt.

“Government agencies should provide correct and verified information. If some piece of information turns out to be fake news, this taints the image of a ministry or a government body. It is not about legislative regulation, but more about the ability of officials to operate in the field of public relations. They should be taught to overcome shyness. Many officials rely on press secretaries, many of whom are competent people. However, their attempt to approach mass media runs afoul of officials’ determination to stay quiet” Pavel Lyogky said. He added that the Information Ministry plans to consider launching a relevant training course at the Academy of Public Administration under the auspices of the President of Belarus. “Our top managers should be taught not to be afraid to communicate with mass media,” the deputy information minister underlined.

He offered examples of how government officials should not handle information that draws public attention. He admitted that Decree No. 65 “On improving communication between government agencies, other government organizations, and mass media” is not implemented well enough. It is not enough to pass a law, it is more important to make sure it is implemented adequately, Pavel Lyogky concluded.

Draft amendments to the Law on Mass Media passed the first reading on 19 April and are being prepared for the second reading. Mass media representatives, MPs, and members of the public submitted their proposals. These proposals are discussed at the extended session of the working group featuring representatives of Belarus’ biggest mass media outlets, including online resources.

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