Seven years after the cancelling of its radio programme in Serbia, the BBC has returned to the country. Late March saw the launch of the BBC’s digital platform in the Serbian language (bbc.com/serbian).
The editorial department now comprises six journalists and an editor, who state that one of their goals is to renew the trust of the local public in the media through balanced and objective reporting that adheres to the standards of the BBC.
According to them, in a politically and economically sensitive environment like Serbia, but also the Balkans as a whole, fake news and unchecked information entered the media domain before that happened in other parts of the world, and “the endangering of media freedom and varied political and economic pressure on journalists are just some of the reasons for that.”
The BBC arrives in Serbia during a very important political juncture for the Balkans, according to the site politico.eu. Specifically, as they point out, this is a move that is part of “a wider soft power battle for supremacy between the West and Russia in the Balkans”, given the growing influence of the Kremlin and pro-Russian media outlets in the region.
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