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Opinions & Interviews

12 Jul 2017

Opinion: Belarus president’s Helsinki 2 initiative is worth considering

Opinion: Belarus president’s Helsinki 2 initiative is worth considering

MINSK, 12 July (BelTA) – The idea to launch a new Helsinki Process suggested by Belarus President Alexander Lukashenko is worth considering, Igor Shchegolev, Assistant to the Russian President, told the media as he took part in the 19th World Congress of Russian Press in Minsk on 12 July, BelTA has learned.

“Alexander Lukashenko is an extraordinary person who regularly comes up with remarkable initiatives, and this initiative is certainly worth considering. It is a very good thing that the initiative was presented to the journalists who are attending the congress,” Igor Shchegolev said.

He noted that the journalists will now need to tell about this initiative in an objective manner. “This is what journalists are here for. I think they will successfully convey the idea to their readers and audience,” the expert said.

Igor Shchegolev pointed out that members of the media have gathered in Minsk to talk about problems faced by the journalistic community in a comfortable setting that Belarus always provides. “Today traditional media have to think about how to build their future and survive in the time of the internet when anyone with a smartphone, photo or video camera can claim to be a journalist. Will the profession get lost in the huge amounts of amateur publications? Does it have a chance to survive? How should we build the dialogue with our readers, audience, viewers? How can we earn money?” the expert said as he enumerated the issues raised during the forum.

Igor Shchegolev also highlighted the problem of diluted responsibility on the part of mass media. “We have technical capacities, but we sometimes lack skills and understanding that there are not only rights, but also responsibilities,” he stressed. The expert believes that the demand for verified and reliable quality information is an advantage for journalism. “In this context, we should look for ways to fight against unreliable publications. In any case, I believe that the very fact that traditional high-quality mass media still exist is the answer to the question – they enjoy more trust thanks to the qualifications and responsible attitude of the journalists working with them,” Igor Shchegolev added.

The 19th World Congress of Russian Press “Partnership for the future: priorities of modern civilization” will run in Belarus till 15 July. Representatives of more than 50 countries take part in the forum.

The event is organized by the World Association of Russian Press, TASS News Agency, the Belarusian Information Ministry, and the World Association of Russian Press.

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