Mesto: Beograd Datum: 19.01.2018 Dogadjaj: DRUŠTVO/MEDIJI/EVROSERVIS - konferencija za štampu delegacije IFJ/EFJ Licnosti: Mogens Bliher Bjeregard, predsednik Evropske federacije novinara, Oliver Vujoviæ, generalni sekretar Medijske organizacije Jugoistoène Evrope i Skot Grifin, zamenik direktora Meðunarodnog pres instituta

EFJ: Media freedom in Serbia must be safeguarded unconditionally

January 21, 2018

Delegations of the European Federation of Journalists (EFJ), the International Press Institute (IPI) and the Southeast Europe Media Organisation (SEEMO) spent two days in Belgrade on a fact-finding mission to determine the state of media freedom in Serbia, after which they concluded that the situation in the domestic media is poor, that Politicians must safeguard media freedom unconditionally and not label the media, and that attacks on journalists must be handled seriously.

Following a meeting with Serbian President Aleksandar Vučić and representatives of the state, and a series of meetings with journalists and representatives of industry associations, the representatives of these organisations also said that there must also be a resolving of the issue of the media strategy, which Serbia should adopt soon, and that institutions must be more transparent and efficient in submitting information to journalists.

The cabinet of the president announced after the meeting that it will work on promoting media freedom and improving the conditions under which media companies work, but they also added that in Serbia “everyone has the right to write what they want” and likewise to respond to others. Vučić said that he “will not take that right away from anyone, including myself”.

Conclusions from the meeting were also presented by EFJ President Mogens Bjerregård at a press conference, at which he conveyed Vučić’s insistence that he “never refuses interviews”, which elicited laughter among the journalists present.

The European Federation of Journalists will follow-up this visit by compiling a report on the state of media freedom in Serbia and will, according to their announcement, monitor whether or not their recommendations are being implemented.