"Belarusian Journalism Today - Hopeless Enterprise or Light at the End of the Tunnel?"

Berlin, 18th February 2009: What does the new EU-Belarus dialogue contribute to freedom of expression and to working conditions of independent Belarusian journalists? Are there any serious improvements or is the admission of two independent newspapers just a symbolic act that will most likely not contribute to a greater access to independent information for Belarusian people? Under which conditions are Belarusian Journalists working and what problems do they face? What do they expect from the political dialogue between Belarus and the EU?
On Tuesday, 17th of February, the Belarusian journalist Liubou Luniova and the German journalist Ingo Petz discussed the current political situation in Belarus, the role of the media and the difficulties of working as a journalist in Belarus. Liubou Luniova (“Radio Svoboda Minsk) described the circumstances she has experienced and observed during the time of the parliamentary election. Furthermore she gave a short overview of the current situation in Belarus and outlined what challenges journalists have to face today. Ingo Petz expressed his journalistic experience in Belarus and stated his point of view on the new EU policy. Following the exchange of experience on the podium, the audience used the possibility to join the discussion, moderated by Stefanie Schiffer (European Exchange). The event took place in Berlin, in the “Club der polnischen Versager” and was held in cooperation with Lew Kopelew Forum Köln and with financial support from the Robert Bosh foundation and the DGO through the "Cooperation Program Belarus”.

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