Media associations criticize draft legislation

The Media Coalition has expressed its deep dissatisfaction with the Draft Law on Public Enterprises, that has been submitted to the Serbian parliament.

Source: B92

This group of journalist and media associations said that Article 2 of the draft provides for the possibility of establishment of public enterprises in the field of information.

They said that the proposal was in direct conflict with the media strategy adopted by the government of Serbia last year, which, among other things, provides for the withdrawal of the state from the media.

"We recall that the strategy envisages that the founder of the media cannot be, either directly or indirectly, the state, territorial autonomy, local government, or an institution, company or other legal entity that is wholly or partially owned by the state, or wholly or predominantly funded from public sources," a statement from the Coalition said on Tuesday.

"We invite members of the Serbian parliament to oppose this resolution and to bear in mind that it is not only contrary to the media strategy, but also to the fundamental principles of press freedom that should apply in countries with a developed democracy," the statement further said, and added:

"We hope that MPs will in this case take a responsible stance and not support a solution that opens the door to increased state influence on the media."

Media associations and journalists' associations will continue to follow developments and notify the European Commission, the OSCE and other international organizations and institutions, and seek support from them in an effort to prevent the adoption and implementation of such a legislative solution, the association said.

The Media Coalition is made up of ANEM, NUNS, UNS, NDNV, and Local Press.

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