Captured Media: Limitations and Structural Hindrances to Media Freedom in Serbia

In: Review of Central and East European Law

This article investigates persistent limitations to media freedom in Serbia, principally understood as the legal status of press freedom and how this is put into practice (or not). Critically reviewing the set of newly adopted media laws and features of the crisis of press freedom over the past five years, the article suggests that, despite constitutional guarantees, adoption of relevant legislation, and decriminalization of libel, media freedom in Serbia still remains deficient owing to shortfalls in norm implementation and the rise of new challenges such as internet censorship. The findings offer a fuller picture of how a lack of transparency in media funding and media ownership, strong economic dependence of media workers, lack of adequate protection for journalists, and pressure from interconnected political and business groups has led to creeping self-censorship in the Serbian media.