June, 2000

Free B92 is the campaign for the return of Radio B92 to its rightful owners - the people who founded it, developed it and made it the most famous voice of free and democratic Serbia. After two brief closures, Radio B92 was permanently taken over on April 2, 1999 by the regime of Slobodan Milosevic.

The Free B92 campaign has carried on with virtually all the projects B92 was involved in up to the seizure - the promotion of free speech, objective reporting, social tolerance and solidarity, minority cultures, cosmopolitan values and alternative culture. One particular goal is to prevail against the increasing social and, especially, media repression with which the regime has responded to the demands for opening and democratising the society.

Free B92 deals especially with the position of independent media in Yugoslavia, providing information to the international public as well as conducting and coordinating activities to support journalists and media who are under threat in various ways. Free B92 is supported in this by progressive international institutions such as AMARC (The World Association of Community Radio Broadcasters), the IFJ (the International Federation of Journalists), the IPI (the International Press Institute) and others.

Free B92 publishes objective information which sheds light on the bombing of Yugoslavia and the effects the attacks had on everyday life, the political arena and the independent media.

Within months of the takeover of Radio B92, Free B92 managed to resume almost all its former activities. In cooperation with Studio B, the radio program B2-92 began broadcasting on 99.1 MHz FM on August 9, 1999. Despite constant jamming by the regime this program, according to surveys by Strategic Marketing, quickly became the highest-rated in Belgrade as had been Radio B92 before the closedown.

The government took over Studio B on May 16, 2000, terminating the Radio B2-92 program on 99.1 FM. Despite this we have continued to broadcast on satellite (six hours a day) as well as on the Internet (24 hours). We hope to expand the satellite program to 24 hours in the near future. At the moment Radio B2-92 is heard on the ANEM network of more than thirty radio stations throughout Serbia. It is also available abroad. Budapest's Radio Tilos broadcasts the B2-92 evening current affairs program in Serbian. Radio B2-92 news in English will be heard on Radio Inicijativa from Lavrov, Ukraine - 102.5 MHz FM, on Mondays, Tuesdays and Thursdays between 18:50 and 19:00 (satellite broadcast) and in Ukrainian (translation of the day's top stories) between 21:00 and 21:10.

As part of the Free B92 campaign, other divisions of the former Radio B92 have resumed their regular activities.

With the restoration of the ANEM network, the production of television news and current affairs programs for ANEM's television stations resumed. In addition to special reports on day-to-day political events, this includes the weekly programs Face to Face, Who's to Blame, and Stop the Violence, series covering all forms of repression and means of defence against it. ANEM Television Production also resumed production of video clips and political activism clips. A number of specials produced in this period have won awards. Among them are "Anatomy of Pain" (about the bombing of Serbia's state radio and television, directed by Janko Baljak and "Are they bombing near your place too?" (about life in Belgrade under NATO bombs) directed by Vlada Masic, Jovana Krstanovic and Radivoje Andric. An important part of ANEM Television's activities is the distribution of high-quality foreign series (210 minutes per week) and exclusive live coverage of NBA games.

Free B92's record label has produced new albums from bands like Darkwood Dub and Kanda, Kodza i Nebojsa as well as three compilations of high quality contemporary Belgrade music.

The publishing division has published important titles from the field of individual and collective responsibility as well as civil reconciliation. Authors represented include Karl Jaspers, George Soros, Frano Cetinic, Jasmina Tesanovic, Predrag "Corax" Koraksic and others. The literature and social issues periodical Rec has resumed publication, in both print and electronic form. Women's literature quarterly ProFemina has recently been published in electronic form.

Radio B92's culture centre, Cinema Rex, was renamed CyberRex and, virtually without pause, resumed the presentation of alternative artistic events and political activism by artists. CyberRex's specialised field of activity is the education of artists and cultural activists, especially in the field of new media.

Free B92 has also stepped up its Internet activity. By expanding its reputation as the leading source of objective reporting from Yugoslavia, Free B92 has opened a series of discussions on the situation in Yugoslavia and has taken the use of the Internet as a tactical media in the fight against repression to a new level. An average of more than 500,000 visitors to the site each month have made Free B92's Web site the focus of an on-line community concerned with the struggle for democratisation of Serbia.