Udarny Front Deputy Editor Fired
Nina Buinitskaya, deputy editor-in-chief of Udarny Front newspaper, was fired on September 20. Udarny Front is a state-run newspaper founded by Shklow district executive committee. The newspaper chief editor Alexander Bialasaw confirmed to Belarusian Association of Journalists that his deputy was dismissed. According to Bialasaw, it was her own decision to quit the job. At the same time, according to BAJ Monitoring Service, the reason for dismissal was “unchecked material” published in the newspaper.
On September 18 Udarny Front newspaper published a reader’s letter signed “B. Kastsiuk, veteran of labor”. The letter was published in the column: “Referendum – the sound decision”. The author of the letter gave ardent support to the idea of referendum and praised Lukashenka’s intent to ask people for advice. “B. Kastsiuk, veteran of labor” attached a poem where he addressed the state leader and pledged his allegiance.
However, when the newspaper came out it turned out that the published poem was an “acrostic”: first letters form a separate sentence which has a radically opposite meaning than the poem itself. In this case the first letters read: Lukashenka is murderer.
Ms. Buinitskaya was made responsible for the incident because the editor-in-chief had a day-off.
BAJ Monitoring Service was informed that the local authorities are looking for the author of the scandalous letter. The case becomes complicated as the editorial staff lost the letter envelope. Moreover, the address on the envelope was typed.