Maria Savushkina


Published 19 April 2024

These days, when propaganda intoxicates the minds of millions of people, high standards in journalism are crucial to rescue societies from this poisonous influence. I’m sure that doing journalism today is a very decent investment in the future, for when war is over and dictators are gone.


I think the most important journalistic skills are carefully checking information and being brave to publish it. The second most important thing is to be a part of a vibrant professional community.


In Belarus, I worked as a reporter, editor, producer, as well as a press officer for several NGOs, including the Human Rights Centre Viasna (Ales Bialiacki, founder and Director of Viasna received a Nobel Peace Prize in 2022). For more than 20 years, I have helped different civil society campaigns and initiatives with their information work and promotion of public-interest activities.


In 2020, after massive protests against Alexander Lukashenka, a Belarusian dictator who led the country for almost 30 years, all independent media inside Belarus were destroyed. More than 30 journalists, editors and media workers were captured by the regime and became political prisoners. 


My team and I managed to escape the country in September 2021. We went to Ukraine, but when Russia’s cruel full-scale military invasion of Ukraine happened, we fled to Poland.


From the Belarusian journalists in exile chat, I learned that the association Schloss Broellin was ready to host some Belarusian journalists – refugees. I decided to go and go to the  Schloss Broellin castle in the North of Germany for a couple of weeks. As a result, three of my colleagues and I stayed there for 6 months.


As soon as Reporters without Borders found out about us, they helped us with relocation to Berlin, visa application, and arranged a short-term scholarship. Thanks to their help for more than a year, I live in Berlin and have a chance to continue my work. I have hope for a stable and safe future.


It is hard for me to accept the situation when people can be punished by prison or persecution for reading and following independent media. It makes us always choose between the safety of our sources andreaders and publishing facts and news.  


With support from the European Centre for Press and Media Freedom I have established a new NGO. Registering a legal body was crucial to continue my work as a media producer.



Photos 1 – 2: Mikhail Kapychka

Photos 3 – 7: Siarhei Balai

Professional biography

  • Medium: Television, online, and social media journalism
  • Position: Researcher and producer
  • Focus area: Entertainment and politics
  • Areas of expertise: Covering and exposing propaganda narrativves
  • Country of origin: Belarus
  • Publication languages: Russian and Belarusian