30. 01. 2016
THE SIXTY - FIFTH MONITORING REPORT OF ANEM
SERBIAN MEDIA SCENE IN OCTOBER 2015
Freedom of expression - October has seen many cases of direct and indirect pressure against journalists and the media, some of which originated from state authorities. We analyzed the following cases in the Report: two cases where members of the Communal police prevented journalists from doing their job - the reporter of Istinomer was prevented from filming a story at a location he had chosen and the crew of the Network for Investigating Crime and Corruption - KRIK had its equipment taken away and footage deleted; the case "Teleprompter", which raised the issue of the right of journalists to protect their sources; the case of the obscure dismissal of the editor of the culture column in the "Magyar Szo" daily, which raised the issue of ensuring editorial independence of minority media funded from the budget; the pressure of the ruling party against the public service broadcaster RTS after the interview with guest speaker Zoran Panovic in RTS program. Regarding legal proceedings, the following ones were analyzed in the Report: the procedure arising from the criminal charges pressed by RDP B92 pursuant to Article 387 of the Penal Code against the "Naši" Movement, over the release of the list of alleged "Serb haters"; the judgment of the Higher Court in Belgrade in the case of Dragoljub Milanovic, former Director of RTS against journalist Nikola Radisic and RDP B92, which upheld the position that "value judgments" may not be proven and that journalists are not required to adhere to strict legal categories while reporting.
Implementation of laws - Law on Public Information and Media: the authors of the Report analyzed the problems identified in the implementation of project co-financing rules, pointing to their causes. Law on Electronic Media: the issue of political promotion outside of the election campaign was dealt with, in the context of the live broadcast of the anniversary of the establishment of the ruling SNS, as well as the ensuing actions by the Regulatory Body for Electronic Media (RBEM) in that case; the authors of the Report also commented on the election of candidates for membership in the RBEM Council, as well as the networking of media services (namely the networking of specific TV and radio stations). The Law on Public Service Broadcasters: in relation to the public debates held by both PSBs about their programming content, the Report pointed to the role of PSBs' Programming Councils, as well as to other aspects of the transparency of the work of PSBs that must be realized.
In the part of the Report concerning the adoption of new laws, the authors concluded that there were no major activities in that respect but for the announcement that the Proposal of Advertising Law will soon be subject to parliamentary procedure.
Work of competent bodies, authorities and organizations - The Regulatory Body for Electronic Media (RBEM) - the Report analyzed the case of the campaign by TV Happy against the President of the Commercial Court in Pancevo and the ensuing actions by RBEM; The Press Council and Commissioner for Equality Protection - in relation to the controversial text about migrants in "Informer", the Council and the Commissioner had different opinions about the journalist's reporting from the aspect of breach of professional and statutory rules concerning the ban on discrimination, which was the topic of the authors' analysis in the Report.
The privatization process - The authors of the Report acknowledged the completion of the media privatization process by the sale of capital and commented on the situation in that field.
In the Conclusion of the Report, summing up their findings about the Serbian media scene in October 2015, the authors pointed to the most notable developments in that month.
The Sixty-fifth Monitoring Report was prepared by the ANEM expert monitoring team from the law office „Živković&Samardžić", in cooperation with ANEM.
The Summary and Conclusion of the Report in English are available for download at the end of this page.
The full Report and its sections in Serbian are available for download here.
The creation of this Report is supported by the Swiss Cooperation Office Serbia within the Small Projects Fund, but the views presented in this Report are the sole responsibility of its authors and do not necessarily reflect the views of the Swiss Cooperation Office Serbia.