Departments of Ideological Work Introduced at Executive Committees
According to the press service of Belarusian Association of Journalists, in the end of March all boards and departments of information of regional, city and district executive committees as well as of local district administrations were turned into department of ideological work. These changes took place as a result of presidential decree 111 “About improvement of the staff provision of ideological work in the Republic of Belarus”, signed this February.
The information departments were a part of the system of the Ministry of Information, whereas the new ideological bodies are subordinated to the presidential administration. Decree 111 ordered that executive committees will decide on the structure and staff of workers of boards (departments) of ideological work by 1 April, “taking into consideration the number of citizens”, but “within the general number of workers”. According to BAJ, at present the new boards consist of former workers of the information boards.
Meanwhile, the official documents (rulings) that are to define the functions of the new structures are being elaborated. Before that, the activity of the information boards was defined by the appropriate ruling, adopted by the Ministry on Information on 10 December 2002. After the issue of decree 111 this document actually stopped acting. Heads of the boards of ideological work of regional executive committees and Minsk City Executive Committee are appointed by the presidential administration, whereas heads of the information boards were appointed on agreement of the minister of information. Heads of ideological departments at subordinate committees are appointed on agreement of regional executive committees. The appointments are to take place till 1 May.
The order of appointment of chief editors of nationwide and regional state mass media has changed too. Now they are appointed either by president in person or on the agreement of the presidential administration. Chief Editors of the local mass media, established by city and town executive committees, will be appointed on agreement of regional executive committees.