The recently established “Team for Dialogue” with the Government of Serbia, comprising representatives of journalist and media associations, has called on the Government to demonstrate in practise that it really wants to improve the media scene by quickly and efficiently responding to their demands.
They demand, among other things, that tax officers and other inspection services immediately cease jeopardising the work of independent media, that judicial proceedings against media operators that are critical of the authorities be dropped urgently and that light be shed as soon as possible on all cases of attacks against journalists.
They also demand that the authorities urgently withdraw support to media companies that continuously violate the Law and Code of Journalists, and that the authorities at all levels urgently stop discriminating against media companies in terms of access to public funds…
They have requested that the Government of Serbia respond to these demands by September.
Journalist and media associations have recently joined the renewed process of devising the country’s media strategy for the next five years. The first attempt failed when representatives of some of the largest journalists’ associations withdrew from the Working Group for devising the media strategy.
Dialogue with the Government of Serbia has since been restored, though the associations have insisted that some of the key problems of the media and journalists be resolved in parallel with the dialogue. They emphasise that they don’t want to be part of a process that would only serve to ensure that Serbia receives better ratings from international organisations.
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