Civil Rights Defenders welcomes new media laws adopted in Serbia

Civil Rights Defenders welcomes the adoption of significant media legislation in Serbia that will include a series of laws relating to Public Information and the Media and Electronic Media and Public Broadcasting Systems. The Serbian Parliament adopted these laws in August 2014.

The laws include the privatisation of all remaining Government-owned media which must be completed by July 1 2015, and outlines the necessary preconditions for the development of independent media, the protection of journalists and transparency of ownership of the media. Direct media financing will be replaced by new transparent systems that will go a long way to ensure independence and self-sustainability of all professional media outlets in Serbia.

“We welcome these changes and have high hopes, and expectations that the Government of Serbia immediately implements all of the media laws passed by the Parliament. Independent, unbiased, objective and financially self-sustainable media are the core foundations of a functioning democracy says Goran Miletic, Programme Director for the Western Balkans at Civil Rights Defenders.

The legislation is a significant development in Serbia where in recent months several blogs, websites and Internet portals were deleted or temporarily shutdown after they had criticised the government and called for the resignation of Serbian Prime Minister Aleksandar Vučić. Earlier this year, the Government faced serious accusations of media censorship by OSCE which was denied by the Prime Minister.

According to the European Journalism Centre, there are over 500 print media outlets in Serbia, over 200 radio stations and 100 TV stations, local, regional and national.

Categories: News.
Tags: Aleksandar Vučić, Goran Miletic, media laws, and Serbia.
Regions: Eastern Europe.