The number of attacks on journalists in Serbia in the past three years has increased, and the response of institutions that should enable to improve the situation is not enough, according to the report of the Regional Platform of the Western Balkans.
Public media during the first half of the year were focused on political issues, due to the electoral campaign. Media covered above all the activites of Prime Minister Aleksandar Vučić. However, despite the coverage, there were little analytics contributions and the interviews covered a narrow range of opinions, negating in practice the pluralist function, linked to public media's role.
Ombudsman Saša Janković on 9 December expressed dissatisfaction regarding the results of the privatization of the media with regard to the representation of national minorities. Still too little room is left to broadcast in the languages of national minorities, as only 13 of the privatized media include plans to broadcast in the language of national minorities.
The EU progress report on Serbia shows that the package of media laws has yet to be fully implemented, as well as the privatization of state-run media has not brought greater transparency of ownership and funding of media. The best example of non-compliance is the supposedly extinguished state news agency Tanjug, whose legal status, as well as financing, has yet to be clarified and harmonized with the existing regulations.
Dušan Petričić, a cartoonist of the newspaper "Politika", ended its collaboration with the newspaper after he drew a caricature on Aleksander Vučić. The Independent Association of Journalists of Serbia said that the unilateral termination of cooperation with Politika is another example of overt censorship.
Serbian Ministry of Culture and Information made contact with EU representatives, that insisted a solution should be found as soon as possible for the news agency that, despite failed privatization, continues sending out dispatches.
Serbia is among 19 countries with the biggest drop in press freedom in 2015. According to a report published today by the international organization Freedom House, Serbia registered a decline of five points compared to the previous year. Freedom House this year ranked Serbia in the list of partly free country taking into consideration the situation of media in the country.