Development of Internet Television with Citizen Participation in Belarus
Belarusian internet provides a platform for relative freedom of expression when compared to other media outlets within the country which are characterized by a state monopoly. This, combined with the soaring numbers of internet users (almost 30% of the population in 2010 thanks to the development of faster and better quality online technologies), makes internet television a prime opportunity for increasing the plurality of media in Belarus. At present, no Belarusian website has engaged users to create video content or share videos online. This project from the BelaPAN Information Company aims to upgrade its existing technical and human resources in order to develop popular internet television involving citizen participation in an attempt to diversify the flow of information, promote citizen journalism and strengthen freedom of expression. In order to attain this goal, a website will be created and media professionals will be trained on the development of internet TV with citizen participation, production of video programmes and further broadcasting. Five pilot programmes will be developed and launched online, covering a variety of relevant topics and incorporating different perspectives. This will provide independent, high quality information based on a broad social network of citizens in Belarus, sustained with the help of trained media professionals and improved technical capacity. OBJECTIVE To upgrade equipment and train media professionals on the development of internet television with citizen participation, and to launch five online pilot programmes covering a variety of relevant socio-economic and cultural topics based on the principle of active citizen engagement within the media.