Association of Independent Electronic Media (ANEM) was founded in 1993, by a group of several media outlets - Radio B92 and NTV Studio B from Belgrade, Radio Boom 93 from Pozarevac, Radio Antena M from Podgorica, Radio Bajina Basta, Radio Smederevo and Radio Cetinje from Cetinje. At the time, their goal was to unite existing isolated media as the first step towards breaking the state-controlled media's monopoly.
At the time, their goal was to unite existing isolated media as the first step towards breaking the state-controlled media's monopoly.
Influence of independent, non-state electronic media in public was very limited until the beginning of mass civic protests during the winter 1996/97 - Radio B92, Radio Bajina Basta, Radio Boom 93 and Radio Cetinje presented oasis of professional reporting. When opposition won the local election in 30 biggest Serbian towns, local radio and TV stations were granted with the possibility to change the media picture and undermine the monopoly of state-controlled radio and TV stations.
In early 1996, due to the regime repression, there were only four active members left in the Association - Radio B92 from Belgrade, Radio Boom 93 from Pozarevac, Radio Antena M from Podgorica and Radio Bajina Basta. In December 1996, three stations remained, after the Serbian Goverment had shut down Radio Boom 93, too. However, building on the political gains of the mass civic demonstrations 1996/97, in June 1997, ANEM launched a network with 19 affiliated members across Serbia and Montenegro, thus increasing network impact and coverage dramatically. By June 1998, ANEM was comprised of 35 stations.
During 1998 and 1999, the government stepped up repression against ANEM Network stations - a number of affiliates were banned or taken over. One week from the beginning of NATO air raid, the authorities seized control of the Radio B92. During the three months long bombing, eight ANEM stations were shut down. However, by August 1999, all affiliates banned during the NATO air strikes had returned to air.
In 1997, ANEM became a registered company in accordance with the Serbian Law on Companies, as a non-profit business association of three the most active and devoted members - the founders of three stations (Radio B92, Radio Boom 93 and RTV Bajina Basta).
After the democratic changes in 2000, around 100 radio and TV stations applied for membership into Association and the founders of around 30 stations were granted the status of full members at the first ANEM Assembly session held in May 2001. Today, ANEM counts over 100 TV/radio stations and online media, all over Serbia, with the policy of continuing increase of the membership. The Association gathers only legally licensed stations (nearly one fourth of all legal broadcasters), mainly local and regional ones and RTV B92, which has licenses with national coverage. ANEM and its member stations are united by a shared commitment to the fundamental human rights, respect, protection and promotion of freedom of expression and information and commitment to highest journalistic ethics and standards.
Today, ANEM is the largest association of electronic media in Serbia, dedicated to the improvement of conditions for media development and freedom of expression, as well as protection of interests of its members. ANEM is a member of several international media organizations, such as SEEMO (South East Europe Media Organization), SEENAPB (South East European Network of Associations of Private Broadcasters), IFEX (International Freedom of Expression Exchange) and affiliate member of NAB National Association of Broadcasters, based in the USA.