Presentation in EP on press freedom provokes fiery response from journalists

December 17, 2017

A presentation of Mediameter in the European Parliament in Brussels, given by Serbian pro-government analyst Dejan Vuk Stanković and the director of the Ebart media archive, Velimir Ćurgus Kazimir, concluded that the media in Serbia are free, but polarised and insufficiently professional, which prompted fiery reactions among certain representatives of the media community in Serbia.

They claim that the presentation of this analysis by portal Mediapart, behind which stands Vladimir Popović, an informal advisor of Serbian President Aleksandar Vučić, is politically motivated, “tailored to suit President Vučić”, as well as that it paints a “rose-tinted picture” that doesn’t correspond to the actual situation.

Stanković and Ćurgus Kazimir were invited to Brussels as media experts to present analysis of the print media in Serbia from January to March 2017.

Following their presentation, Franc Bogovič, a Member of the European Parliament and Vice-President of the Friends of Serbia Group, which organised the presentation, assessed that in Serbia “there is sufficient media space to criticise the government and the opposition”.

Meanwhile, as reported by the Beta News Agency, European Commission, in its internal semi-annual analysis of the action plans for Chapters 23 and 24, which are being conducted by Serbia as part of its EU negotiation process, assessed that major challenges to media freedom exist – media laws have not yet been fully implemented, attacks on journalists are being recorded, as well as economic pressure exerted by the state on the media via inspections.