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What Do Belarusians Think? TV and Internet Compete for the Minds of BelarusiansFebruary 28, 2020
Soon, more Belarusians will be receiving news from the Internet than from TV. However, this does not mean that society will become immune to propaganda. Sociological data shows that media literacy in Belarus remains complicated: people do not notice how influential Russian media is, and rarely double-check the news they consume.
This piece continues the series of analytical articles based on the national representative survey on the attitude of Belarusians to reforms, social contract, foreign policy, gender-related issues, civil society, media and the role of the state. The poll was conducted in August-September 2019.
- The Internet has almost caught up with television as a regular news source. The younger generation predominantly gets news online, while elderly people still rely on TV.
- Belarusians mainly trust the media from which they receive news, but the TV audience trusts TV a little more than the Internet audience trusts the Internet.
- Survey respondents underestimate the impact of foreign media on Belarusian citizens, and report the influence of Western media almost on par with Russian media.
- Most Belarusians understand that media often advance a certain agenda instead of reporting facts. However, only a small minority regularly double-checks important news against alternative sources. The older generation does this even less often than the youth.