Mesto: Beograd Datum: 30.06.2017 Dogadjaj: POLITIKA - novi ministar državne uprave i lokalne samouprave Branko Ružiæ preuzeo je danas dužnost od prethodne ministrke, sada premijerke Ane Brnabiæ Licnosti: Ana Brnabiæ

Controversial views of the PM on the media in Serbia

January 8, 2018

The Group For Media Freedom, which brings together numerous journalists’ and media owners’ associations, NGOs, media outlets, individual journalists, activists and citizens, submitted a list of 13 demands for improving the situation in the media to the Government of Serbia and Prime Minister Ana Brnabić in mid-November.

In the responses, which arrived after a three-week delay, the prime minister claimed that the government is not responsible for many of the noted problems.

In response to the Group’s demand that the public discrediting and discrimination of journalists ceases, Brnabić said that the Government does not differentiate between journalists, but rather treats them all equally.

In the following days, however, she made declarations that refuted her previous claims – she dubbed the KRIK research portal, which investigated her real estate ownership, “sensationalist”, and also stated that “some” journalists and media claim that there is no media freedom in Serbia, but that it “seems” to her that there is.

She also said that there are few objective journalists in the country and that she “set a serious precedent by meeting with the Group For Media Freedom, which doesn’t even have representatives of the largest media association – the Association of Journalists of Serbia”.

Members of the Group consider that such statements by Brnabić mean that she is not only differentiating between journalists, but also confronting them and additionally antagonising the media scene.

They consider her replies as a reflection of “the government’s lack of understanding or its unwillingness to confront the difficult situation in which journalists and the media find themselves”.

Due to such situations, as well as the “lack of political will to solve them”, the Group For Media Freedom organised several protests in 2017 and states that it will continue to do so in 2018.