Дата публикации

Media preferences of the Belarusians: key trends

According to the state program of the digital economy and information society development for 2016-2020 the number of the Internet users per 100 people was to reach 77% by 2020. However, the Internet coverage in Belarus is growing much faster and the forecasts needed an update. Thus, the quantity is expected to reach 82.5% by the end of this year. These quantitative indicators are certainly impressive. Besides, the Internet resources have recently become one of the most mobile and convenient means of obtaining information. However, a more important issue is the quality of the information in the Belarusian segment of the network, which makes the study of Internet preferences of the population acute.

In this regard, the results of the joint sociological research by BISR and the educational and scientific research cluster "Public Opinion" (UNIK OM) of the Philosophy and Social Sciences Department of the BSU are of interest. Thus, based on the results of the survey, the sociologists identified the following main trends in the media preferences of the Belarusians:

  • current user preferences are characterized as multi-channel, since they include the receipt of information through state and non-state resources, Telegram-channels, social networks, search engines;
  • immediacy of the news delivery is the most important factor for the modern Internet user. At the same time, the negative indicators for the media, in the opinion of the audience, are subjectivism, "yellow" headlines, contradictory information, unnecessary censorship, etc.;
  • in addition to the news feed the information resources should contain demanded regulatory legal information on a wide range of issues;
  • today the most thematically interesting for active Belarusian users are the resources that satisfy them, first of all, in obtaining the political, socioeconomic and cultural information;
  • due to the fact that most people use a smart phone as the main technical device for reading news, the most advantageous are the resources with user-friendly interface for this type of gadget;
  • the overflow of the resources with advertising information is perceived rather negatively, as for some users this is a significant disadvantage;
  • the modern resources should offer visitors the possibility of subscription and electronic submission;
  • the situation when after visiting the resource the user receives a notification in the browser (notification on the desktop, e-mail) without their permission is undesirable.

Based on the above, nowadays the most attractive resource for the Belarusian user would be a portal with a modern design, user-friendly interface for the mobile version, containing current information about the current political, economic and cultural events in the country.