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Research into media freedom in Serbia presented

19. May 2012. | 09:19

Source: Tanjug

As many as three quarters of reporters in Serbia believe that the country suffers from certain problems in connection to the freedom of the media, shows the research entitled 'Media freedoms in Serbia in a European mirror.'

As many as three quarters of reporters in Serbia believe that the country suffers from certain problems in connection to the freedom of the media, shows the research entitled 'Media freedoms in Serbia in a European mirror.'

Results of the research were presented on Friday and they show that only four out of 27 criteria used by the Council of Europe to measure freedom of expression can be achieved in Serbia.

With regard to the freedom to engage in journalism, freedom to internet access and foreign media, Serbia lives up to European standards.

The criterion according to which participation in government executive bodies is separated from the professional performance of media activities is also present in Serbia and limitations on media rights to exclusive reports on important events are also maintained on the European level.

Still, the research defines certain deviations from European standards in the area of media economy and the independence of the media with regard to political pressures, as well as in the sector of employee and social rights and reporters' safety.

Research coordinator Jovanka Matic assessed that the biggest problem lies in the fact that there is no information about the number of active media and reporters in Serbia and media owners.

Matic added that officials need to set up an up-to-date database as regards the media system, and pointed out that politicians are showing a great need for using media for their own purposes.

According to ANEM lawyer Slobodan Kremenjak, the government, media owners, free competition and legal regulations affect media freedoms, and certain laws from media sector were adopted from 10 to 40 years ago.

The report deals with protection of the right to freedom of expression, freedom of criticism against government officials, openness of the media for political parties, freedom to choose the language of communication, protection of reporters' security and neutrality of the government's financial assistance.

The research was carried out by Civil Rights Defenders, ANEM, NUNS, NDNV and Local Press and it contains the legal and communication analysis of the data about the legal, political, economic and professional environment in which the Serbian media are operating.

Publicly available data about the media sector were used in the research and 240 chief editors of information media from 79 municipalities in Serbia were interviewed, as well as 69 owners and 40 party officials from 10 cities in Serbia, 50 members of nine minority communities and representatives of 26 government, regulatory and self-regulatory bodies with jurisdictions in the media sector.

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