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05. 11. 2015



Freedom of expression - According to the findings of the monitoring team, attacks, threats and pressures against journalists and the media persisted in August. However, the characteristic of that period is that the attacks targeted mainly journalists investigating embezzlement, corruption and crime. By analyzing several of such cases, the authors of the Report pointed to their cause - the unfavorable atmosphere created in society in relation to media freedoms and freedom of expression in general. The cases described in the Report concern the attacks and threats against: journalist Ivan Ninic from Belgrade; journalist Stefan Cvetkovic from Bela Crkva; Predrag Blagojevic, journalist and editor of the portal Juzne vesti from Nis; the Responsible Editor of the news program of B92 Veran Matic and other employees of that media company. The Report points to the double practice of state authorities in cases where threats target politicians compared to those when journalists are threatened (the case of the arrest of Milan Malenovic, the Deputy Editor-in-Chief of the weekly "Tabloid", over the threats he had sent on Facebook to Prime Minister Aleksandar Vucic and Interior Minister Nebojsa Stefanovic).

Implementation of the Law - The Law on Public Information and Media: in relation to the public procurement procedure for "inserting" the publication "Poslovi" in the daily newspaper, which the National Employment Service implemented and awarded the contract to the publisher of "Informer", the authors of the Report analyzed the regulation of public advertising in media; Viber, an OTT platform for instant text messaging, enabled only one media in Serbia ("Kurir") to place its content on that platform - the Report analyzes potential violations of the Law prohibiting the monopoly on distribution channels. The Law on Electronic Media: the Report analyzes the legal aspects of transfrontier television services, as well as the problem of inserting localized advertising messages in the programs of transfrontier channels distributed in Serbia mainly through cable distribution networks. The Report also examines regulations concerning the so-called cross-media concentration (consolidating ownership or management rights between the publishers of print and broadcast media), which regulations could be implemented in Serbia perhaps for the first time, in relation to the acquisition of the "Moja TV" cable channel by the Adria Media Group.

The authors of the Report concluded that there were no major developments related to the adoption of new laws relevant for the media sector.

Activities of competent authorities, bodies and organizations - The Regulatory Body for Electronic Media (REM): the Report provides a succinct analysis of the bylaws by REM that entered into force in the reporting period, the Rulebook on the Criteria and the Manner of Increasing the Share of European Audio-Visual Works, the Instruction on the Application of the Provisions of the Law on Electronic Media Regulating Own Production and the Rulebook on Audio-Visual Commercial Communications. The Commissioner for Information of Public Importance and Personal Data Protection reacted to the poor practice consisting of lowering the protection level of the right to free access to information of public importance with the new legislative concepts from different areas. The degree of protection is even reduced under the threshold provided for by the Law on Free Access to Information of Public Importance. The authors of the Report have itemized which provisions of the drafts of four laws were branded questionable by the Commissioner and pointed to the potential consequences of these laws on the activity of journalists and the media.

The digitalization process - The authors of the Report elaborated on the issue of the digital dividend (the part of the radio-frequency spectrum released after the digital switchover) in the context of the start of the public bid for the issuance of individual licenses for the use of radio frequencies in that part of the spectrum and provided suggestions about the use of part of the resources gained from the sale thereof for the development of media services.

The privatization process  -  The Report also contains a legal analysis of the media privatizations that were carried out in the reporting period, and, in the context of certain controversies related to the current procedures, an analysis of the legal mechanisms the state may resort to in order to counter "dubious privatizations".

In the Conclusion of the Report, the authors summed up their findings about the most relevant events on the media scene in August 2015 and pointed to the need to redefine the goals of further reforms of the media sector in Serbia.

The Sixty-third Monitoring Report was prepared by the ANEM expert monitoring team from the law office "Živković&Samardžić", in cooperation with ANEM.

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

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


The creation of this Report is supported by the Swiss Cooperation Office Serbia within the Small Projects Fund, but the views presented in this Report are the sole responsibility of its authors and do not necessarily reflect the views of the Swiss Cooperation Office Serbia.   


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