(Source: Cenzolovka ) - The report of the Press Council on co-financing media that violate ethical standards showed that most commissions that allocate money from the budget do not care about the rules, and hand out money to the media that violate the Code on a daily basis. Despite the Ministry supervising the implementation of laws and regulations, the State Secretary claims that it has no influence on local governments

Like the previous four, this year, the competitions for co-financing media projects continued to finance tabloids and media that violate the Journalists' Code - despite violating the rules prescribed by the state.

The commissions, composed of suspicious media experts and representatives of unknown journalist associations, in many cases did not take into account the measures imposed by regulatory bodies on certain media, but, on the contrary, rewarded them with millions for violating professional norms and ethics.

These issues were addressed by the Press Council in the report  "Co-financing of media that violate ethical standards" , which showed that out of a total of 183 competitions, as much as 86 money was awarded to media that violated the Code one or more times: daily tabloids Informer, Kurir, Alo , Večernje novosti, then Afera, Glas Zapadne Srbije, Ozonpress, portals Republika, Srbija danas,


These media did not receive money for a total of 30 competitions, but only in three cases is there a clear explanation that the projects were rejected due to the measures taken by the Complaints Commission of the Press Council.

The portal had the most violations of the Code, which, according to the report of the Press Council, earned 8,660,000 dinars on six projects. The council issued as many as nine warnings to him during the last year due to a months-long chase against the Pančevo journalist  Nenad Živković , for which he sued them. In two competitions, the tabloid Alo received 5.9 million dinars, and the Informer 5.5 million for 11 projects.

The report singles out the Municipality of Kovacica and the City of Belgrade as examples of bad practice, because despite the information from the Press Council that certain media violated the Code, they awarded millions to those who constantly violate ethical and professional rules. Thus, the Municipality of Kovacica awarded the portal 1,960,000 dinars, and the City of Belgrade gave the tabloid Alo 5,500,000 dinars - despite six violations of the Code.


Commission members need training


Gordana Novakovic, secretary general of the Press Council, told Cenzolovka that the idea of ​​the Council was to determine whether and to what extent the commissions take into account the opinion of the Press Council, ie whether the allocation of funds is influenced by the Press Council's warning. Of the 139 municipalities that announced competitions in 2019, 84 of them sought the opinion of the Press Council, but in most cases the commissions did not take into account the fact that the media violated the Code of Journalists of Serbia, sometimes multiple times.

"It turned out that all the media that were punished received money - some more, some less. The most drastic example is the Pancevo portal However, there are differences, and we are not in favor of eliminating the Code once and doing everything to prevent it from happening again, completely, because a mistake can happen to anyone. The point is that there is a provision in the Rulebook which states that it is specifically assessed whether the media has taken measures not to repeat the mistake, but if someone has been punished nine times in a few months, it is obvious that he has not taken anything, "Gordana points out. Novakovic.


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(Source:  euractiv ) - The adoption of a new media strategy is the key to success in exercising the right to quality information, but strong political will is needed to protect the media as a supervisory body for monitoring democracy, said Norwegian Ambassador to Serbia Jorn Gjelstard. He also said that "there is a need to strengthen the regulatory body for the media, which enforces laws in  the media scene, as well as   provides conditions for fair business of all media."

At the round table "The role of regulatory and self-regulatory bodies in pre-election reporting - Norwegian experiences", which was held at the Norwegian Embassy on March 9, the ambassador said that the role of the Press Council needed to be strengthened.

"Citizens should file complaints about the work of media, to which the regulatory body should react. It is necessary to have transparent ownership in the media and in the election campaign to provide non-discriminatory access to all candidates," Gjelstard said, opening the discussion.

The Head of the OSCE Mission to Serbia, Andrea Oricio, said that media reforms were very important and that the OSCE had participated in the development of the Media Strategy together with the Government of Serbia and representatives of journalists' and international associations.

"Media strategy and its implementation should be one of the main tools for ensuring media development. The goal is to strengthen the role of regulatory bodies and their independence, especially during the election campaign," Oricio said.

Oricio said that the OSCE Department for Democratic Institutions and Human Rights of the ODIHR will monitor the election process in Serbia.

"In February, a rulebook for public services was adopted in order to better monitor the reporting in the election campaign, and guidelines were given for commercial television as well. Frequencies are a public good," Oricio said.

EU Ambassador to Serbia Sam Fabrizi said that "the right to free information is a basic human right and an integral part of EU law, which also applies to countries on the path to accession."

He said that progress had been made in Serbia in recent months, but that the EU would continue to monitor the process "to ensure that Serbia moves in the right direction".

Fabrizi stated that the process of strengthening media freedoms will include professional status as well as the safety of journalists, protection of sources, as well as protection of data from the point of view of cyber danger.


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(Source:  021 ) - A member of the Press Council and journalist Tamara Skrozza said that 14 complaints
were submitted to the Press Council's Complaints Commission regarding the case of writing about the
abduction of a girl Monica from the vicinity of Nis.
According to the statement, Skrozza pointed out that the number of complaints is "a record since that
self-regulatory body existed".
" Showing horrific images, presenting horrifying details about the victim's condition and abusing the
emotional state of the victim or her family is contrary to both the professional and ethical code, " she said.
Skrozza added that the blame is not only on the journalists, but often on those who provide such
information to the media.


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(Source:  n1 ) - Aleksandar Gajović, State Secretary at the Ministry of Culture and Information, stated as a guest on N1 that media that violate the Journalists' Code should not receive money from the budget. "I think that the Code of Journalists is well written, very honorable and honest, and I personally think that absolutely everyone should respect it. And, after all, the Ministry supports both the Press Council and the Code." Speaking about the co-financing of the local media and the case in Kragujevac, he said that he would send a warning to Mayor Radomir Nikolić - that he was obliged to announce a competition.


There are plenty of problems on the media scene. In recent days, co-financing of media projects has been in the center of attention again. The Association of Journalists of Serbia announced that their representatives would withdraw from the government commission, because people were appointed to it who we heard from the representatives of UNS that, in their opinion, are not adequate for those positions.

There have been no media competitions in Kragujevac for five years, the media are left without the money that is intended for them and necessary for survival.

Gajović says that on Wednesday, he and his associates had an open conversation with the director of the weekly Kragujevac, that they came to some conclusions. She explained to us the situation, which is quite dramatic in Kragujevac, considering that it is a big city, and that it deserves good information, says the H1 guest. He states that they blindly follow the law in that ministry, and that it is really the obligation of every local self-government and every city to announce competitions for financing media content. However, as he says, the shortcoming of that law is that they did not envisage sanctions if that does not happen, admitting that he himself is a bit guilty of it. "Well, that is one of the things that we will certainly take into account in the current media reform - to sanction those who do not announce," he stated.

Now, he says, there are no instruments by which that city would be initiated to announce competitions. Gajović says that the director of the weekly "Kragujevacke" was promised that the representatives of that ministry would first address the mayor of Kragujevac, adding that they had already done that once. He stated that the assistant minister had talks on that topic in Kragujevac, but that she would now give a warning, a "yellow card". Once again, we will make an effort to point out to the mayor that he is obliged to respect the Law on Informing the Media and that they should announce a competition, which, as he says, he will do in the next few days.

He added that the weekly has a large debt to the Borba printing house and that he pledged and scheduled a meeting with the representatives of the printing house on Wednesday, in order to see what can be done there. Gajović added that he is very emotional about the moment when one media is shutting down, and "this paper may be on the verge of that sad act".

Asked how he evaluates media competitions "locally" and at the level of the republic, he says that he does not have complete information, but that he notes that there are complaints. Those who think that they have been denied their right in any way, when it comes to competitions with co-financing, "ask us what to do, there was a conflict of interest here. We instruct them to claim their right primarily through the courts. Noting that these administrative proceedings last for two or three years, Gajović says that the duration of court proceedings is not an issue for him.

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(Source: UNS) - From July to September this year, the Journalist’s Code of Ethics was violated in 2,286 articles published in Serbian newspapers. In the first place by number of violations is the newspaper "Alo", followed by "Kurir", "Srpski Telegraf" and "Informer", was said today in Belgrade at a Deutsche Welle Academie round table.

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(Danas) Eight daily newspapers in Serbia last year made a total of 3,615 violations of the Code of Journalists of Serbia, and only from August to December, it was said on the presentation of media monitoring by the Press Council

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(Source: FoNet) - The Press Council today expressed a protest over the decision of the Commission for evaluation of projects in the field of public information in Belgrade to allocate budget money to newspapers that continuously violate the Code of Journalists of Serbia.

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(DW Akademie) - Violations of the press code are common in Serbia, especially when it comes to tabloid media. But the country's press council is promoting ethical and journalistic standards, with support from DW Akademie.

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(Source: SEENPM/ - Promoting self-regulation in the Serbian media has not been an easy task for the Press Council (Savet za stampu), the Serbian self-regulatory body founded seven years ago.

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Press councils in South East Europe are facing many challenges as they work to raise professional standards and strengthen the social standing of journalism in the region... LINK

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