As of January 1, 2009, the Republic of Belarus had 1,307 print mass media registered, of them 673 newspapers, 586 magazines, 42 bulletins, six catalogues. Over two thirds of them are private. Periodicals are published in Belarusian, Russian, English, German, Polish and Ukrainian.
Today there are ten news agencies in the country. The largest of them is the Belarusian News Agency (BelTA).
On February 8, 2009, the new Mass Media Law came into force. The new piece of legislation secures reliability of information, legality, equality, respect for human rights and liberties, pluralism, standards of industrial ethics. Every individual has a guaranteed right to freedom of opinion and free expression.
TV and Radio
As of January 1, 2009 the Republic of Belarus had 158 radio and 69 TV channels registered. Their founders are local executive committees, Councils of Deputies, state companies, NGOs, foreign companies and joint ventures, public associations, citizens of the country.
The country has five national TV channels, namely, Pervy (First), LAD, ONT, Stolichnoye Televidenie (Capital City Television, STV) and the international satellite channel Belarus TV. In 2002 Pervy Muzikalny Telekanal (First Music Channel) was launched.
There are 29 FM radio stations in Belarus.
Since the opening of Belarus TV (www.belarus-tv.by) on February 1, 2005, the number of viewers of the Belarusian television has soared immensely. The channel does not only feature daily news programs but also the best films and shows of the Belarusian Television-Radio Company, ONT and STV channels, Belarusfilm Film Studio and Belarusian Video Center.
The radio station Belarus is the only state-run outlet broadcasting abroad in Belarusian, Russia, Polish, English and German. The Internet site at www.radiobelarus.tvr.by is visited by people from over 80 countries.