IREX: State of media in Serbia remains poor

July 3, 2017

The latest report of organisation IREX on the Media Sustainability Index has ranked Serbia in the group of “unsustainable mixed systems”, with a total score of 1.78 on a scale of 0 to 4, which compared to last year’s report, means “little or no change”.

This group includes, among others, Russia, Macedonia, Bulgaria, Tajikistan and Kazakhstan – countries where “parts of the legislative and executive power oppose media freedom”, while certain progress in some areas is not sufficient to place these countries in the category of “sustainable systems”.

The state of freedom of speech is at its worst since 2011, due to “an atmosphere of fear, censorship and self-censorship”.

This year also saw Serbia receive its lowest rating in the last five years when it comes to professional journalism, due to an increasing number of journalists and media that do not report ethically and professionally.

On the other side, certain progress has been made in terms of the pluralism of news, because citizens have access to foreign media, two independent news agencies and free internet portals.

The situation is also still bad for media business, due to poor economic conditions, while Serbia received its highest individual rating in the area of support institutions, as it has numerous associations of journalists and associations of media owners and publishers, which is the “bright side of the media system”.

Photo: Jana Nikolić / Slavko Ćuruvija Foundation