Press Day in Belarus Date in the current year: May 5, 2024

Press Day in Belarus Press Day, sometimes also translated as Printing Day, is a professional holiday celebrated on Belarus on May 5. It is the professional holiday of all print media employees in the country, although those who work in the independent media beg to differ.

In Belarus, there are both state-owned and privately published newspapers. The main state-owned and hence state-controlled Belarusian newspaper is Zviazda; it is also the only Belarusian-language daily newspaper in the country.

Other major Belarusian-language newspapers include Novy Chas, Nasha Slova, Nasha Niva, and Holas Radzimy. Narodnya Naviny Vitsebska and Pahonia are pro-opposition Belarusian-language newspapers; both are published exclusively online because of government restrictions.

Most print media in Belarus, however, are Russian-language. The largest Russian-language newspaper in the country is SB. Belarus Segodnya, formerly know as Sovetskaya Belorussiya. It is the official newspaper of the Administration of the President of the Republic of Belarus; because of this, it is often referred to as the country’s main propaganda newspaper.

Other major newspapers in Belarus that are printed in Russian include Respublika (official newspaper of the Belarusian government), Narodnaya Gazeta (official newspaper of the Belarusian government), and Vo Slavu Rodiny (official newspaper of the Ministry of Defense).

Belarus also has a number of bilingual newspapers published in both Belarusian and Russian. They include Narodnaja Volia, Hazeta Slonimskaya, Intex-Press, Zhodzinskaya Naviny, and Vecherniy Brest.

Belarusian Press Day was officially established by President Alexander Lukashenko in 1996. The date of the holiday, May 5, was chosen to commemorate the day when Pravda began publication in 1912. Having originated as Vladimir Lenin’s mouthpiece, Pravda became the official newspaper of the Communist Party and a leading newspaper of the Soviet Union after the October Revolution of 1917.

According to other sources, however, Belarusian Press Day commemorates the publication of Chronology on this day in 1581. Chronology was a poetic calendar written by Andrzej Rymsza, who is considered to be one of the first Belarusian poets.

Be that as it may, May 5 has been celebrated as Belarusian Press Day every year since 1996. However, not all Belarusian print media employees consider it a cause worth celebrating due to restrictive and repressive laws that target independent journalism and limit the freedom of speech in the country.

Although Belarus does have independent newspapers, their editorial teams find it harder and harder to operate in the current political climate. Privately owned newspapers that are not state-friendly suffer from economic discrimination because advertisers are discouraged from placing ads there. In addition, independent journalists are subject to harassment, detention and imprisonment, especially since the beginning of the 2020 protests.

Because of this, very few independent journalists in Belarus consider state-endorsed Press Day their professional holiday.

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Press Day in Belarus, holidays in Belarus, professional holidays, media in Belarus, printed media in Belarus