Foto: Cenzolovka

Tanjug Agency fabricates a report on media freedom in Serbia

15 March, 2018

Pro-government news agency Tanjug has announced that media freedom in the countries of Southeast Europe is on the decline, except in Serbia – with reference to a survey of the clientelism index for 2016, which was presented on 7th March at a press conference in the Press Club Brussels.

Participants in the survey claim that the obtained data shows the opposite and that Tanjug is attempting to beautify the picture of the situation for the media.

The research of clientelism in the media in Serbia and five other countries of the region was carried out by Zagreb-based organisation Partnership for Social Development.

The Independent Journalists Association of Vojvodina (NDNV) and the Committee of Lawyers for Human Rights (YUCOM), which participated in the survey, state that Serbia is stagnating in a negative trend after a drastic decline in 2015. According to them, Tanjug presented this news in a distorted way and interpreted the obtained data arbitrarily.

Moreover, they refute the agency’s claim that during the press conference in Brussels they “highlighted positively the preparation of the new Media Strategy, as well as the impartial reporting of public services, particularly Radio-Television Vojvodina (RTV)”.

Specifically, as they claim, work on the Media Strategy was not praised, rather, on the contrary, it was stated that this document is being adopted in “total darkness” and without the inclusion of the public, and “there was no special praise for RTV, which is one of the media outlets that is under the greatest influence of the ruling policies”.