Private Newspaper Returns to State Distribution System after 8 Years Exclusion
The editor-in-chief of the newspaper Anatol Bukas supposes the newspaper was returned into the subscription catalogues thanks to the efforts of the Association of the regional press which had many times requested the postal service to include the outlet into its catalogues. We remind that the newspaper was denied services of Belposhta in May 2005.
The editor-in-chief distributed the ads saying that subscription resumed in postal departments. However, soon the ads started to be taken off the ad boards; in particular, an order to do so was issued by the chief of the ideological department of Barysau district executive committee. The official reason was that the newspaper was larger than A4 format. In this case the newspaper must pay 37 500 rubles a month to every postal office, and the editor is ready to pay; however, neither the regional nor the district post has yet sent the appropriate invoices.
Borisovskiye Novosti is still not sold in Minablsayuzdruk kiosks; the last attempt to get along with the second largest state-run monopolist in press distribution was made in 2011.
The newspaper is mainly distributed through its own editorial subscription, in private shops and markets and with the help of individual distributors. Meanwhile, private shops are staying under pressure of the local authorities.
“I signed a contract with the Minsk company Viking-service which deals with distribution,” says Anatol Bukas. “We agreed to sell the paper in 11 shops in Zhodzina and in 4 shops in Barysau. So, only one shop in Barysau took the newspaper to sell. Three weeks later it stopped, and the director annulled the contract, saying it is blocked in all shops.” The editor says the pressure is exerted by ideological departments. They also watch that enterprises would not place their ads in the newspaper.
Borisovskiye Novosti is a socio-political weekly with the current circulation 6 000 copies. It was excluded from Belposhta before the presidential elections in 2006, alongside with other 16 independent newspapers. 19 newspapers were excluded from kiosks of Belsayuzdruk. Lawsuits to return the newspaper into the distribution catalogues were dismissed. At present the problem of distribution is acute for more than 10 socio-political independent outlets.