Has the media in the country been reformed after the period of full media darkness and the phase “captured state” especially in the period after 2011 and by the middle of 2016?
How to get a free and powerful media – real bearers of the “fourth estate” in the country?
Part of these questions were covered in the public policy document published by the Metamorphosis Foundation.
Following the extensive analysis of the conditions based on strict methodological rules and after discussions with experts, the following recommendations emerged:
- A comprehensive media policy that will contain a strategy for the development of the media sector in conditions of convergence of traditional and digital media and will provide equal access to resources in the function of securing media pluralism and protection against the dangers of abuse of freedom;
- Political will to prevent the state from abusing the media for its own propaganda purposes;
- Political will to allocate sufficient funds for a subsidy (not direct money) to the type of media considered to be affected by economic conditions on the market or dealing with local government topics, vulnerable categories, minority groups, while not expecting favours, in the sense of auto-censorship or similar;
- Prohibition of any advertising of central and local government, as well as state and public enterprises in commercial media;
- Clean legal solutions in which the state will regulate only what needs to be regulated, and there will be a balance between the need for regulation and misdemeanors and penalties for the media who make mistakes while implementing the basic law;
- Strong public service that will perform the basic role of informing and educating in a highly professional manner which will be independent of the centres of power in the executive, legislative or judicial power;
- Encouraging self-regulation in both traditional and contemporary digital media;
- Guaranteeing the security of journalists, not allowing the principle of impunity for attacks against journalists, as well as the application of legal solutions that will guarantee them social security in the media where they work;
- Improvement of the legal and practical measures for greater transparency of the ownership of the media;
- Stricter rules for banning media monopolies;
- Refraining from threats of lawsuits for journalists and media by the holders of power, elected or appointed persons, if they are dissatisfied with the media reporting;
- Further improvement of the law on civil liability for slander and defamation in the penal section, in order not to perceive the law as a form of pressure / Damocles sword that stands on the head of the media and journalists;
- Expanding the list of holders of public information, shortening the time of responses, and increasing the efficiency of resolving second-instance complaints if the journalist / media does not receive the requested information;
The project is supported by the Embassy of the Kingdom of Norway in Belgrade and the Balkan Trust for Democracy, a project of the German Marshall Fund of the United States