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Draft media strategy to be ready by June 1

17. May 2011. | 07:43 07:46

Source: Tanjug

A draft media strategy should be ready by June 1, member of the strategy working group Danilo Nikolic announced Monday.

A draft media strategy should be ready by June 1, member of the strategy working group Danilo Nikolic announced Monday.

Taking part in a round table dubbed "The Media in Serbia" organized by Tanjug, Nikolic said that the drat document will be sent to the Ministry of Culture and Information, with a public debate to follow.

"There can be no democratic law without a democratic legislative procedure. I hope the strategy will be the result of a well-informed public debate," Nikolic said, noting that the media in Serbia are in a very difficult position, especially in terms of financial and market standing.

This position is confirmed by a report on freedom of the press from U.S. non-government organization Freedom House, which placed Serbia at number 72 out of the 196 countries listed.

The working group, made up of experts proposed by the Ministry of Culture and media associations, was formed on April 18 and immediately went to work on preparing the media strategy.

Nikolic stressed that the media strategy must be based on the Serbian Constitution and UN acts, especially when it comes to the protection of fundamental human rights and liberties.

He added that the media must be allowed to operate free of political, economic and any other form of pressure.

The new draft media strategy will not, like the first one, end gathering dust in the archives of the Ministry of Culture, Media and Information Society, says the President of the Association of Media and Executive Editor of the Belgrade-based daily Blic, Veselin Simonovic - a member of the first working group whose work on the strategy did not go quite well.

In his opinion, neither good nor bad laws are respected in Serbia, and if they were respected, the media would perhaps not be any richer, but would certainly be better and more comprehensive.

“All commercial televisions and the public service are violating the law on advertising and about 25 relevant criminal charges have not been processed. The information law is unnatural and we as a profession should not have allowed 10 years to pass without drafting a new one,” Simonovic argued.

Editor-in-chief of the Belgrade-based Politika daily Dragan Bujosevic and a member of the Republic Broadcasting Agency (RRA), Gordana Susa, agreed that over the previous 10 years, significant progress in organizing Serbia's media environment had been made, even though the relevant law was bad.

Despite the animosity between Serbia's journalistic associations - the Independent Journalists' Association of Serbia (NUNS) and Journalists' Association of Serbia (UNS) - it is very important for the future that fruitful consultations come from both in drafting the strategy, in which the role of the state should be clearly positioned, according to Susa and Bujosevic.

Bujosevic criticized the state for allocating “the measly financial assistance for the media” and suggested that, among other things, it could reduce import duty on printing materials not produced in Serbia.

Bujosevic and Susa believe another problem is too many media, the number being about 530 daily, weekly and monthly publications, according to Susa.


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