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Full text of the demand to replace two members of the Broadcast Agency Council

 

With regard to the recent seleciton of Mr Nenad Cekić and Mr Vladimir Cvetković members of the Council of the Broadcast Agency, based on the nominations by Serbian Government and Serbian National Assembly respectively, we wish to bring to your attention the fact that their selection breached the procedures defined in Broadcast Act (»Official Gazzette of Republic of Serbia«, issue no. 42/2002). We also want to note that in the case of selection of Mr Cekić, there are circumstances that may lead to a conflict of interest as a result of his membership in the Council.

In the selection of Mr Cekić and Mr Cvetković to the Council's membership, Article 24(12) of the Broadcast Act was breached. Article 24(12) provides that the Parliament will publish at least 30 days in advance of the day of selection of Council members all valid lists of nominees as proposed by competent bodies, complete with biografical data of the nominees, in a most adequate way. Whereas biographies of all other selected nominees were published well in advance, the nomination of Mr Cekić was published only on April 8, 2003, i.e. only three days ahead of his election, while Mr Cvetković's nomination was announced only on the very day of the selection of members to the Council, on April 11 2003.

This breach has avoided the obligatory transparency in the nomination procedure, while members of the parliament were prevented from obtaining full and equal insight into the capabilities and merits of all nominees for the membership in the Agency's Council.

Moreover, according to the Company Register at the Trade Court in Belgrade (which is a public document that registers data pertinent to comapnies and their authorised representatives – general managers), the entry number 1-33380-00 -- which pertains to University Radio »Indeks« d.o.o., based in Belgrade, 165 Jove Ilića street -- on April 8, 2003 (the day Mr Cekic was nominated) has Mr Cekic registered as the acting general manager of University Radio »Indeks«, which is registered for production and broadcast of radio programs.

Mr Cekic's post in University Radio »Indeks« is very obviously and beyond doubt conductive to conflict of interest, which precludes him from becoming member of the Council as per Article 25(1;4) of the Broadcast Act, as Mr Cekic is not only a journalist, a part-time collaborator, or any employee, but a manager of a media company which can apply for a frequency licence to the very Council he has been selected member of.

Also, Mr Cekić has, as the leader of Radio "Indeks" for many years, become in the public eye a personification of that media company, and has in many of his public statements as leader of Radio »Indeks« taken a very clear and adamant position against some of Radio »Indeks«'s
competitors, which indubitably brings his capacity to act with full responsibility and unbiasedness as member of the Council into question.

Having in mind the numerious and important competences the Council of the Broadcast Agency will have, and in order to protect the integrity of that Council, we therefore believe it is necessary to start the procedure provided in the Boradcast Act to dismiss Council members Mr Nenad Cekić and Mr Vladimir Cvetković, and to repeat the nomination procedure for these two posts in a way that will honour the legal regulations pertinent to publication of nominations in a manner that will enable public insight into their capacities to perform the tasks in the remit of the Council of the Broadcast Agency.

On behalf of Independent Association of Journalists of Serbia (NUNS)
Milica Lučič – Čavić, President

On behalf of Spektar broadcasters association
Slavica Nikolić – Čorbić, President

On behalf of ANEM, Association of Independent Electronic Media
Veran Matić, Chairman

Front page of special

News

Chronology of events

 


DOCUMENTS

Media situation in Serbia, May 2003

Invitation to dialogue between government and media

Full text of the demand to replace two members of the Broadcast Agency Council

 


ANALYSIS

Srecko Mihajlovic: Lost in advance: the battle against pubic

Does the law not matter?

IFJ Warns of “Damage to Integrity of Broadcasting Law”

SEEMO Concerned over Press Freedoms in Serbia

 
FORUM

OSCE urges new election for broadcast monitoring body

CPJ concerned about government harrassment of the press

IPI Serbia Alert

RWB Call for re-election of council

OSCE urges transparency in media appointments

ANEM: repeat Broadcast Council election

NGOs shun Broadcast Council debate

EC Charge d’Affaires: Cause for concern

US Ambassador Extremely Disappointed at Status of Media

Verena Taylor: Legal procedure was not respected

OSCE Chairman: Laws may never be broken

Head of OSCE Mission: (1) “Aware of certain criticism”

Dimitrijevic: Against flouting of law in name of public interest

Head of OSCE Mission: (2) The law was broken in the Broadcasting Council’s constituting

Andric: Decision will stand

Milivojevic: If there is suspicion about autonomy form outset, Council will not be able to operate.

Veljanovski: There is deliberate negative pressure from the authorities.

Lucic-Cavic: Angry that candidate of professional associations, one of our greatest media experts, won’t be sitting on the Council

Matic: Not only an issue for our profession, it is a problem for the entire society

Lucic-Cavic: We could have survived another month

Milenkovic: Will broadcasters follow Parliament’s suit in breaching law?

Radulovic: Guiding principle was bad

Zink: Govt and parliament should consider grounds and response


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