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31. 12. 2014


November 2014 - Legal monitoring of the Serbian media scene - Report of the monitoring team

Freedom of expression - Among threats and pressures against journalists and the media, the most notable in November 2014 was the newly introduced procedure by the Serbian Business Registers Agency (APR) which entails registering of every person accessing the Agency's online archive of documents and the companies the information related to which the users review. The procedure exposes investigative journalists to serious danger. Starting from the reaction to the procedure by the Commissioner Rodoljub Šabić and statements about it by Stevan Dojčinović of the Center for Investigative Journalism Serbia (CINS), the Report authors underscore all the arguments indicating that such data processing is illicit as well as dangerous for reporters. In the section on court proceedings the Report analyzes the following: 1. the execution of the verdict reached by the High Court in Novi Sad in April 2012 upon the compensation of damages claim of journalist Vladimir Jesic against the minister without portfolio Velimir Ilic for kicking and cursing Jesic in front of TV cameras during an interview in 2003 - this eleven-year long procedure for the compensation of damages indicates that Serbia does not meet an indicator of the Council of Europe for media in democracy (the indicators measure a degree of fulfilment of freedom of expression and media freedom) - timeliness and adequacy of the protection of journalists from physical threats and attacks; 2. the decision of the High Court in Nis revoking the verdict of the Basic Court in the same city, under which the now former Director of the Municipal Heating Plant Milutin Ilic and his associates Dobrivoje Stanimirovic and Mija Jankovic were acquitted of the charges of having threatened the editor of "Juzne vesti" Predrag Blagojevic, endangering his security. The Report authors explain why the verdict of the High Court in Nis is encouraging.

Implementation of existing laws - The Law on Electronic Media - the subject of the analysis are the measures pronounced by the Regulatory Body for Electronic Media (REM) under the said law against providers of media services concerning the protection of minors in programming content - the warning to the national television Pink, for the lack of protection of identity and integrity of minors in program "DNK", and for erroneous classification marking and the time of the program broadcasting; reprimands  to the national televisions Happy and Prva, for programming content not suitable for minors broadcast in a protected time-slot; an additional reprimand to the TV Happy - for illicit manner of advertising electronic cigarettes. Another caution pronounced by REM in November, but under the Broadcasting Law, was also analyzed - against regional broadcaster RTV Enigma, for failure to respect programming concept.

There was no notable legislative activity in November with respect to adopting laws relevant for the media.

Work of competent authorities - in this part of the Report the authors deal with the work of the following state bodies: the Commissioner for Information of Public Importance and Personal Data Protection - its activities regarding the implementation of the Law on Free Access to Information of Public Importance and the public authorities' treatment of their obligations stipulated by the Law; the Culture and Information Committee of the Serbian Parliament - the session of the Committee on the freedom of the media and the Committee's conclusions reached at the session, as well as the session of the Committee in which a draft decision was passed relevant to the functioning of the public broadcaster Radio Television of Serbia (RTS);  Ministry of Culture and Information - the adopted rulebooks relevant for the implementation of the Law on Public Information and Media: the rulebooks on the co-financing of projects for the realization of public interest in the area of public information, on the documentation to be submitted in the process of registering the media in the Media Register, as well as about the keeping of the records and the entry in the records of international media representatives and representative offices of international media. The Report also covers the work of collective organizations for the protection of copyright and related rights by analyzing the work of SOKOJ (organization of music authors of Serbia) in relation to court proceedings it initiated against the public service broadcaster RTS concerning the debt incurred for using copyrighted music in its programs; in relation to that the Report points out to the years long attitude of RTS towards its legal obligations of paying fees to RATEL, JP ETV and collective organizations and what is necessary to be changed in this practice of RTS and why.

Digitalization process - the Report authors analyze what marked digitalization process in November 2014 - the second consultative meeting of the competent ministry and broadcasters; the intensified media campaign promoting the digital switchover; and the step forward concerning the support to disadvantaged citizens in acquiring STBs.

Privatization process - the Report authors provide a short overview of the progress in the media privatization process after the adoption of new media laws.

In the Report conclusion the authors summarize their findings of the Serbian media scene legal monitoring in November 2014.  

58th Monitoring Report was produced by the expert team of the ANEM legal department, Law Office "Živković&Samardžić", in cooperation with ANEM.

The Summary and Conclusion of the Report in English is available for download at the end of this page.

The full report and its sections in Serbian are available for download here.

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This project is financially supported by the Civil Rights Defenders.



The contents of this article are the sole responsibility of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the views of the Civil Rights Defenders. 

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This project is financially supported by the Open Society Foundation, Serbia.



The contents of this article are the sole responsibility of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the views of the Open Society Foundation, Serbia.  

Summary and Conclusion of the 58th ANEM Monitoring Report

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