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Methodology


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The Anti-Corruption Council presented the Report on pressures on and control of media in Serbia at the round table meeting on 29 September. Although the numerous representatives of the most important Serbian media were present at the round table meeting, the participant’s predictions that the media won’t pay attention on the Report come true.
In the past media did not pay any attention to the Reports of the Anti-Corruption Council. The journalists showed interest in the Council’s work when we researched important topics, but they suddenly lost interest when the Council published reports or organized the press conferences. We thought that the media would change attitude and that media’s owners, editors and journalists would pay more attention on the media problems presented in the Report on pressures on and control of media in Serbia. The analysis of media reporting on the Report on pressures on and control of media has shown that the our claims that media are closed, that citizens get the information, which are acceptable for the owners of media (not to the public interest) are correct.
Summary of the analysis of media reporting on the Report on pressures on and control of media in Serbia
Methodology:

  • Period: from 29 September to 18 October

  • 40 media were analyzed

        • 9 daily newspapers

        • 8 weekly

        • 7 TV stations

        • 2 web televisions

        • 4 radio stations

        • 2 news agencies

        • 8 Internet portals.

Results:


  • 34 articles were published (1.7 articles per day)

        • 25 reports

        • 6 comments

        • 2 interviews

        • 1 news.

  • The public has got the small amount of information from the Report on pressures on and control of media in Serbia:

        • Three main problems were just mentioned without any explanation (lack of transparency in media ownership, economic influence of the state institutions on media through different types of budget payments, role of public service RTS and the Republic Broadcasting Agency).

        • Influence of PR agencies on the advertising market (the agencies which had the most valuable contracts, distribution of agencies by political parties, personal predisposition towards certain agencies were mentioned).

        • Reasons for the lack of reactions.

        • Very few articles have cited data from the Report.

        • Only in one article the Council’s recommendations were mentioned.

Date: 29 September

RTS, TV B92 and Beta (news agency) published three articles (two reports and news).

Topics: three major problems, financing of media (link between state institutions and advertising market, expenditure of personal and political party promotion, the financial pressure on media instead of political pressure), RTS emphasis that arguable data is used in the Report, media mentioned institutions that received the Report, media are closed (relation between free media and fight against corruption).

Sources: the summery of the Report, statements (Verica Barac, Snjezana Milivojevic, Rodoljub Sabic, Milan Nikolic, Djordje Vlajic).
Date: 30 September

TV Pink, newspapers Danas and Kurir, magazine Balkan Magazin, Internet portals Euractiv Srbija, UNS and Pistaljka, web television RTKragujevac published eight articles (eight reports). Topics: three major problems (non-transparent ownership, the owners of the media are off-shore companies, 18 from 30 media have non-transparent ownership, the influence of state institutions on media through advertising, the role of PR, marketing and advertising agencies, the public service is under pressure of political parties and production agencies, RTS doesn’t fulfill the obligations and violates the Law on broadcasting, the National Broadcasting Agency is under political pressures), conclusion and recommendations from the Report, participant’s statements from the round-table meeting.

Sources: the Report, the summery of the Report, statements (Verica Barac, Snjezana Milivojevic, Rodoljub Sabic, Sasa Jankovic, Ljiljana Smajlovic, Vukasin Obradovic, Milan Nikolic, Dragan Janjic, Nemanja Nenadic).


Date: 1 October

Newspapers Blic and Danas, magazine Novi Magazin and TV B92 (website) published 5 articles (three reports and two comments).

Topics: the role of the agencies on the advertising market, the amount of money which state gives to agencies, the most valuable contracts between agencies and the state institutions, the ministries which had the highest expenditures for advertising, distribution of agencies by political parties, personal predisposition towards certain agencies, the Serbian Government had no reaction on the media misuse.

Source: the Report.


Date: 3 October

Newspaper Danas published report about the state institutions expenditures on advertising, one quarter of media income became from the state, there is no critical approach of media reporting on work of state institutions, media received the huge amount of money through campaigns, the most expensive campaigns, list of state institutions which spent the most on media, personal promotion of politicians.

Source: the Report.
Date: 5 October

TVB92 (website), newspaper Politika (website) and web television TV Raskrsca published three articles (reports).

Topics: the absence of reaction on the Council’s Report, pressures on the Council, the media mentioned in the Report did not react, three major problems (mentioned not explained), the state institutions do not work in accordance with their jurisdiction.

Sources: the Report, an interview with Verica Barac.
Date: 6 October

Newspaper Danas, TV Vojvodina (website), Radio 021 (website) published three articles (two reports, one interview).

Topics: the absence of reaction on the Council’s Report, the government and control of media, pressures on the Council, the media mentioned in the Report did not react, three major problems are mentioned, the state institutions do not work in accordance with their jurisdiction, the control of media has a bad influence on democracy and fight against corruption, the Council could published the new Report on the data which was not delivered to the Council, the external auditors should control the state budget, the state institutions don’t need the services from the PR agencies.

Sources: the Report and an interview with Verica Barac.


Date: 7 October

Magazine Uzicka Nedelja and web portals naslovi.net and SEEbiz published four articles (three reports and one comment).

Topics: the absence of media reaction on the Report, the Report showed how the Government manipulated the media, the media mentioned in the Report did not react, three major problems, the state institutions do not work in accordance with their jurisdiction.

Sources: the Report, an interview with Verica Barac.


Date 8 October

Newspaper Blic published one comment about Mladjan Dinkic`s statement that he was banned to promote work of his Ministry, according to the Report on pressures on and control of media in Serbia his Ministry spent 60 million euros annually on media, and therefore it took fourth place among analyzed institutions.

Sources: the Report.
Date 10 October

Newspaper Akter published an interview with Verica Barac.

Topics: high level of control of media, the media published the information that are in accordance with the owner’s interest instead of public interest, there was no repercussion after the news about the Report were published, the biggest problem for the Council was collecting the necessary data, there was no reaction of the Government, the major problems were explained.

Sources: the Report.


Date 12 October

Newspaper Danas published one comment on the Report.

Topics: media privatization, the position of journalist in Serbia, the role of journalist’s associations, the Report showed the links between media, politicians and the owners of capital, the conclusion from the Report, the Report was presented to the public in inadequate manner.

Sources: the Report.


Date 13 October

Newspaper Tabloid published report on two telecommunications companies Telekom and Telenor. They cited parts of the Report related to the Telekom Srbija expenditures on media.

Source: the Report.
Date 14 October

Newspaper Danas and Internet portal vesti-online published one comment and one report.

Topics: the absence of media reaction on the Report, the data which is known for years is for the first time is public presented and systematize in the Report, major problems (non-transparent ownership, the state institutions influences on media through the budget payments, role of RTS and the National Broadcasting Agency), the main Council’s goal is to start a wide public debate on this topic, the strongest boundary for corruption is the free media.

Source: the Report.


Date 18 October

The Internet portal vesti-online published report. The topic was the ownership structure of Serbian media.



Source: the Report.

The results of the analysis proved that the Council has researched the key problems and that we analyzed the problems well. The lack of media’s reactions, even media mentioned in the Report, is a good indicator that media in Serbia are closed.


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