Press Coverage of Belarus, A Newly Independent Country in Transition

By Katsiaryna Ivanova

A paper by Katsiaryna Ivanova, fall 1998 fellow, compares media coverage of events in Belarus by the government, independent press, and international press, to attempt to find out how the three types of press interact and what effect this interaction may have on a society in transition. The event chosen for examination is a controversial referendum that was initiated by the Belarusian president in 1996, the results of which were not recognized by Western nations. Two of Belarus’s government daily newspapers, Sovetskaya Belorussia and Narodnaya Gazeta, as well as one of the oldest and most influential independent newspapers, Svaboda (published twice a week), were chosen to examine domestic coverage. Seven international newspapers: four American (The New York Times, The Washington Post, Chicago Tribune, The Wall Street Journal) and three British newspapers and magazines (The Independent, Financial Times, The Economist) were used to represent international coverage.

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