Belarusian Association of Journalists

Belarusian Association of Journalists

Belarusian Association of Journalists (BAJ) was set up in 1995.

BAJ is a non-governmental non-profit organisation, aiming to ensure freedom of speech and rights of receiving and distributing information and promoting professional standards of journalism.

BAJ has its members in over 160 independent and state-owned publications, publishing companies, radio and television companies.

BAJ has affiliate offices in all six regions of the country.

From 1997 BAJ is a member of the International Federation of Journalists (IFJ), from 2003 affiliate member of Reporters Sans Frontiers (RSF).

ADDRESS

17-304, Pl. Svabody, Minsk, 220030, Belarus

CONTACT DETAILS

e-mail:baj@user.unibel.by
tel/fax: +375-17-2236366,
tel: +375-17-2267098
web: www.baj.ru

ACTIVITIES

  • Legal support of journalists
  • Training programmes
  • Monitoring of violations in the media field
  • Publishing the professional magazine Abajour

GOLDEN PEN OF FREEDOM

In 2003 BAJ received a Golden Pen Award of the World Association of Newspapers (WAN).

In forty years history of the Golden Pen it has happened only twice that journalists organizations have received the award in 1969 Czech journalists for fighting for the freedom of press and in 2003 — BAJ in recognition of its courageous resistance to the repression of the media by President Aleksander Lukashenka.

The award ceremony took place in June 2003 in Dublin during the World Newspapers Congress and Editors Forum.


PROGRAMMES

BAJ is actively involved in programmes aimed at raising the professional level of journalists.

From 2001 to 2003 BAJ implemented the Project Strengthening Democratic Media in Belarus funded by the European Commission. The Project was implemented in cooperation with the Lithuanian Union of Journalists

Within the Project BAJ performed ongoing education of journalists and lawyers specializing in legal protection of mass media and provided legal assistance to media outlets.

In the framework of the Project BAJ published the magazine Abajour and a number of books, including an analytical book Ten years of independent press in Belarus and a directory Mass Media and Press Services in Belarus.

BAJ has a number of educational programmes with the European Journalism Centre (Maastricht, Netherlands), FOJO (Calmar, Sweden), Centre of Extreme Journalism (Moscow, Russia), European Institute for the Media (D?sseldorf, Germany) and cooperates with the Global Campaign for Free Expression ARTICLE 19, Swedish Helsinki Committee, Norwegian Helsinki Committee, UNDP, etc.

LEGAL SUPPORT OF JOURNALISTS

BAJ has a Law Centre for Media Protection (LCMP).

Main activities of LCMP lawyers are:

  • Representation of interests of BAJ members in courts and other state structures;
  • Legal advice;
  • Analysis of media legislation and legal practices of its application;

BAJ lawyers have developed a Concept of media legislation reform and a number of alternative draft laws in the field of information.

MONITORING

BAJ performs monitoring of conflicts and violations of law in the field of mass media. The results of the monitoring are posted on BAJ web-site (www.baj.ru) and sent to mailing list subscribers in Belarusian and English languages.

BAJ annually publishes the analysis of monitoring and conclusions of experts on the tendencies of developments of media situation.

ABAJOUR MAGAZINE

In 2000 BAJ founded Abajour magazine.

Abajour is the only specialized journalistic publication in Belarus providing free forum for media professionals.

The magazine is distributed to over 300 Belarusian media outlets, as well as NGOs, political parties, state structures and professors of journalism.

The electronic version of the magazine is posted on BAJ web-site: www.baj.ru