Belsat TV is the only completely independent Belarusian language television station in Belarus and in the world. It was founded in 2007, after Belarus’ community of pro-democracy leaders and activists have expressed a need for a media outlet that would provide reliable information about the situation in Belarus and nearby countries, and promote Belarus’ native language, culture and history. The programs of Belsat TV are created by Belarusian journalists based throughout Belarus and in Poland and Lithuania. From its inception, Belsat TV has operated as a business unit of Polish Television, with funding provided by Poland’s foreign affairs ministry, Polish Television, and international donors. Agnieszka Romaszewska-Guzy, an experienced Polish Television journalist, had led the preparations for launching the Belarusian channel (which started in 2006) and now serves as the head of Belsat TV.

The station broadcasts almost twenty hours per day throughout the year as a free-to-air (unencrypted) channel via the satellite Astra 4A and through the Internet. The station’s original content is prepared by more than one hundred associates from throughout Belarus, assisted by a news studio and approximately eighty editors, managers and technicians in Warsaw.

Belsat TV correspondents in Ukraine, Russia, Lithuania, the Czech Republic, Germany, Belgium and the United Kingdom send in their reports on a regular basis, shedding light on events happening in those countries and on the international arena. Over the last few years, the online portal at belsat.eu has been the station’s fastest growing distribution platform, featuring as many as four language versions (Belarusian, Russian, Polish, and English), maintaining a strong online presence in all major social media networks (Facebook, vKontakte, Odnoklassniki, and Twitter), and feeding a number of topic-specific channels in multiple languages on YouTube.

Belsat TV continues to thrive despite facing many repressive media regulations in Belarus and the Belarusian government’s hostile attitude toward independent media.

belsat.eu

The European Endowment for Democracy was established, in response to Poland’s initiative, to promote European values, freedom, democracy, and human rights. Thanks to joint efforts and financial support from European Union member states and European institutions, the Endowment operates as an independent fund, based in Brussels. It is an organization that provides financial support to local leaders of democratic change in countries neighboring with the European Union. The Endowment’s cooperation with the Solidarity Zone Foundation involves supporting Belsat TV television content production consistent with both partners’ common goals and shared values.

www.democracyendowment.eu

The Embassy of the Kingdom of the Netherlands in Warsaw supports the Solidarity Zone Foundation’s events organized to defend and promote civil liberties and human rights, especially free speech, in Belarus. The Netherlands embassy also provides funding for Belsat TV’s audience research and communication strategy development.

www.netherlandsandyou.nl

As the philanthropic arm of Thomson Reuters, the world’s largest news and information provider, the Thomson Reuters Foundation has informed, connected and empowered people around the world by running free support and service programs. The Thomson Reuters Foundation focuses on promoting the socio-economic development and the rule of law. Using the Solidarity Zone Foundation as an intermediary, the Thomson Reuters Foundation has supported Belsat TV’s development of programs that reach the entire area dominated by Russian media, respond to the Kremlin’s disinformation and propaganda offensive, and present the true international context of key political events in post-Soviet countries.

www.trust.org

The Journalism Development Network, which operates the Organized Crime and Corruption Reporting Project (OCCRP), is a U.S.-based non-profit journalism organization dedicated to improving investigative reporting and newsroom management around the world. Working with twenty international partners, the OCCRP serves as an information platform for presenting the results of journalistic investigations. JDN/OCCRP supports high-quality investigative reporting at Belsat TV.

www.occrp.org

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