The Media and Politics: The Case of Serbia

in Southeastern Europe
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For over a decade media legislation, controversial as it was, has been a matter of controversy in Serbia. It was only in 2011 that a newly adopted media strategy developed by European Union and Council of Europe criteria hinted at change for the better as it envisaged the amendment of the entire media legislation (about 18 laws). Consequently, three new laws were passed in 2014: on public information and the media; on broadcast media; and, on public broadcasting service. Ten laws are still pending – either to be amended or adopted.

After the change of the regime in 2000, the media legislation was changed but not in line with a democratic value system. This specially refers to media freedoms. Repression against the media characteristic of the 1990s was replaced by “soft censorship” and self-censorship.

Serbia’s media market is small and underdeveloped, and under strong influence of the government. The adopted strategy provides against state ownership of the media except in the case of the two public broadcasting services. Media outlets, especially electronic, are too many for such a limited media market; the state has a hand in media businesses in many ways, including subsidies and paid advertisements for large public enterprises. Non-transparent media ownership and money flow are among key problems of media transition.

The Media and Politics: The Case of Serbia

in Southeastern Europe

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References

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