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26. 05. 2015


Belgrade, 26 May 2015 - The Coalition of Media and Journalists' Associations (ANEM, NUNS, UNS, NDNV, Local Press), together with the media association "AsMedi", jointly stress that their representatives in the selection panels of the competition of the Ministry of Culture and Information for co-financing media content worked completely autonomously and were not exposed to any influences or pressures - either by the Ministry or by those who had nominated them.

Journalists' and media associations delegated their candidates for the panels by a joint agreement, without influence or any interventions by members of authorities.

It was experts with professional reputation who were elected for panel members and they made decisions based on their conscience and knowledge, the quality of project proposals and the alignment thereof with legally defined public interest in the public information sector.

Problems they encountered were primarily in the domain of the quality of project proposals, and there were some procedural omissions, as well, that can be avoided further on.

Project-based co-financing of media content in the public interest, prescribed by the new Law on Public Information and Media, was one of key demands of journalists' and media associations in the reform of media legislation.

It is necessary that the entire process of allocating public funds for co-financing media content be fully transparent, which presupposes control and does not exclude criticism, but it must not be allowed that possible omissions bring the entire process into question.

The model of co-financing public interest in the public information sector by means of independent selection panels is of key importance for the future of media and media professionalism in Serbia.

Debate and critical review of the competition procedures' implementation are always welcome as they are an important link in longstanding efforts of journalists' and media associations towards making the relation of the state and the media as transparent and inclusive as possible. 

In the year 2015, dubbed by the expert public "transitional" or "experimental" for the implementation of media laws, certain problems and omissions were expected in the procedure of competition-based co-financing of media content by means of independent selection panels and in accordance with the public interest as one of the key reform processes.

The goal is that the problems, after the experience of this year, be thoroughly analyzed and removed and that the entire process be submitted to evaluation in order to find solutions (in agreement with the Ministry of Culture and Information) that will advance it.

The Coalition of Media and Journalists' Associations:

Association of Independent Electronic Media (ANEM)

Independent Journalists' Association of Serbia (NUNS)

Journalists' Association of Serbia (UNS)

Independent Journalists' Association of Vojvodina (NDNV)

Business Association "Local Press"

and the media association "AsMedi"

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