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28. 05. 2015


Belgrade, 28 May 2015 - The Association of Independent Electronic Media (ANEM)  protests against a series of tendentious texts published in the daily „Informer" about alleged conflict of interest of members of expert selection panels who assessed projects submitted to the competitions of the Ministry of Culture and Information for co-financing in the public information sector. ANEM particularly protests against statements regarding alleged conflict of interest of members of expert selection panels nominated by ANEM.

Although „Informer" writes about a competition for co-financing of projects for production of media content, ANEM points out that the Ministry of Culture and Information issued not one, but eight public competitions and nominated not one, but eight different expert panels. In accordance with the Law on Public Information and Media, the Ministry of Culture and Information nominated the majority of members of the eight panels at the proposal of journalists' and media associations. ANEM participated in comprising proposals for panel members together with the Journalists' Association of Serbia (UNS), the Independent Journalists' Association of Serbia (NUNS), the Independent Journalists' Association of Vojvodina (NDNV), Business Association „Local Press" (LP), the Association of Serbian Media (ASMEDI), the Association of Serbian Radio Stations (Radio Advertising Bureau - RAB Serbia) and the Journalists' Association of Vojvodina. 

ANEM has existed for more than two decades - since 1993.  It is registered as a business association and its founders are legal, not natural persons. Veran Matić used to be ANEM president, but he has not discarged any function in the association, nor has he been a member of any body of the association for more than 10 years now, since 2004. Confident about his expertise and impartiality, we nominated him as a member of one of the Ministry's panels - the one where he could not have been in a conflict of interest in any way. ANEM does not have any reason whatsoever to doubt that Veran Matić did his job as a member of the panel conscientiously and impartially. Especially because the decision of the panel, as was the case with other panels, was made unanimouosly.

ANEM has been advocating regulation of budgetary media financing for years. For that reason we supported the commitment of the Media Strategy and the Law on Public Information and Media that the financing be regulated in a unified way, regardless whether funds are allocated from the republic budget, that of the autonomous province or the budgets of local self-governments. We also supported the solution that the funds be allocated in a public procedure, under equal and non-discriminatory conditions, in competitions for projects that ensure fulfillment of public interest established by the law. ANEM also supported the solution of the Law that the projects be assessed by expert selection panels where the majority of panels' members is elected at the proposal of journalists' and media associations. This because the earlier practice of non-transparent and bureaucratic, politically motivated allocation of public funds has been fully compromised and absolutely unsustainable as such.

ANEM membership comprises more than 100 media nowadays, including some of the most reputable TV and radio stations and web portals. We believe in the quality and potential of our members to carry out even more than 14 projects (the number that „Informer" mentions) in the best interest of the media, their newsrooms and the public. That is why ANEM will continue to work with its members, among other means, by providing trainings for project writing so that the potential of the members could be fully realized.

Finally, ANEM reminds the public that the control of expenditures is one of the important elements of the model of budgetary funding of the media. The control is not only institutional, but it also involves the public.  ANEM is the first to insist on this control being performed responsibly and consistently, without difference between the projects of ANEM members and those of any third party.


ANEM President, Milorad Tadić

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