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30. 04. 2009



Working on behalf of its member stations, ANEM, with support from the USAID and IREX, organized two-day workshop for its member stations in Belgrade, on May 28 and 29, 2009. The main topic of the workshop was the impact of economic crisis on media and finding the possible solutions for overcoming this impact.

The key goal for organizing the workshop, entitled „Possible ways of overcoming the crisis impact – finding new ways to reach the monetary stability in the period of financial crisis”, was to help ANEM member stations to find the right way to solve theirs financial problems, through facilitating open and constructive debate and through offering number of practical advices and solutions. Media industry is especially hit by the economic crises because of significant reduction of marketing and advertising budgets, and beside that, extreme difficulties in collection of payments. Even so far, media outlets in Serbia operated under difficult conditions (undeveloped media market, collision of the regulations, no strategy for media development, suspended process of media privatization, political and economical pressures on editorial policy, etc.) and the crises additionally emphasized these negative circumstances. Having this in mind, ANEM considered necessary to respond on demand of its member stations and help them in the moment of crisis. ANEM provided them the possibility of open dialogue with representatives of Ministry in charge and acquaintance with the measures that state bodies will undertake to help media outlets. At the same time, stations had a chance to present their problems to state representatives, as well as, to be listened by them. Also, members were provided with the practical advises for finding the resolutions for their financial troubles, thanks to the media experts who participated in the workshops.

The entire event was attended by representatives of all relevant institutions and organizations, along with 23 representatives of ANEM member stations. Guests on the first workshop were representatives of IREX, Ministry of Culture and Independent Journalists’ Association of Serbia (NUNS), while the panelists were Sasa Mirkovic, ANEM President, Slobodan Kremenjak, attorney at Zivkovic & Samardzic, and lawyer of ANEM Legal Department, Dragan Kremer, consultant, Ljiljana Neskovic, chief manager of human resources at RTV B92 and Dunja Zelenovic-Jovanovic, A-media sales and marketing director. Also, workshop was attended by 13 representatives of 11 ANEM private member stations: Radio City Nis, Radio Em Knjazevac, Radio Ema Bujanovac, Radio Far Alibunar, Radio Kontakt + Kosovska Mitrovica, Radio M+ Mladenovac, Radio OK Vranje, Radio Ozon Cacak, Radio Uzice, TV Jedinstvo Novi Pazar and TV Panovizija Vrsac.
The second day of workshop was opened by representatives of IREX and Ministry of Culture, while the speakers were Jasna Milosevic, director of media research in Strategic Marketing agency, and like the first day, Slobodan Kremenjak, Dragan Kremer, Ljiljana Neskovic, i Dunja Zelenovic-Jovanovic. The workshop was attended by 10 representatives of ANEM publicly owned stations: Niska TV, Radio Pozega, RTV Kragujevac, RTV Pancevo, TV Cacak, TV Pirot, TV Pozega, TV Apolo Novi Sad, RTV Kovacica i Radio NB Novi Becej.
Aware of the fact that differences in ownership, private or public, bring along different positions on the media market, ANEM separated the workshop participants, so that the first day was organized for private stations, while the second day was dedicated to publicly owned media. Due to the fact that an economical crisis strikes all media, regardless on stations’ ownership, ANEM organized this workshop aiming to help all its member stations.

All guest speakers contributed to success of workshop through their encouraging open speeches, as well as the panelists, through analysis of current situation and proposals of possible ways for overcoming the difficulties. Stations were motivated and directed to find the most suitable solutions and, at the same time, to build their own capacities. The most important message of the workshop is that crisis should be treated as a challenge rather than a disaster, as every problem has the answer, but bearing in mind that adaptability to the given conditions is needed.

Workshop conclusions:

• The crisis fortified the stations’ necessity for Association
• Engagement of ANEM within the Ministry of Culture work group is highly important. All ANEM stands at the work group are approved by majority of stations (e.g. mandatory fee reduction, efficient shutting down of the illegal stations, changes of Advertising Act and reduction PBS amount for commercial advertising, continuance of privatization, allocation of budget media funds to all media outlets under the same conditions through the projects’ funding etc), although stations are fully aware that measures proposed by that work group to Government will be result of compromise between various relevant actors, other broadcasting media associations and organizations with different standpoints
• Other forms of official representation of ANEM stands should be intensified (participation at public debates, press conferences, direct meetings with officials, etc.)
• Direct negotiations with regulatory bodies (RBA and RATEL), as well as with collective societies (SOKOJ and OFPS), should be facilitated so that fee reduction can be negotiated.
• ANEM activities aimed at reforms of media sector regulation are one of the most important and ought to be continued
• ANEM advocacy activities (campaigning, debates, public announcements, etc.)should be persisted to improve station position and situation in sector
• Association should maintain to provide free legal assistance to the member stations
• In order to reduce the program production costs, joint productions and/or free of charge productions should be promoted among Association members
• Direct visit to the stations are supposed to be organized in order to better estimate the situation in the field and to expand the membership
• Two more workshops for the stations, in order to uplift their competences, are needed and it is good they are already planned
• Communication within Association must be intensified and improved which implies mutual efforts and tolerance

Workshop conclusions, which were confirmed by majority of participants, ANEM considers as a starting point for its future activities. Supporting sustainability of local media, and Serbian media in general, thus preserving the plurality of the broadcasting system, ANEM considers being the most important task, and will, from now on, direct its activities toward achieving this objective.

Dragan Kremer - presentation for private broadcasters (available only in Serbian)
Dragan Kremer - presentation for publicly owned broadcasters (available only in Serbian)
ANEM presentation (available only in Serbian)
Ljiljana Neskovic - presentation for private broadcasters (available only in Serbian)
Ljiljana Neskovic - presentation for publicly owned broadcasters (available only in Serbian)
Dunja Zelenovic Jovanovic presentation (available only in Serbian)
Jasna Milosevic Djordjevic presentation (available only in Serbian)

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