Journalists' associations said on Aug. 19, at the latest round table of the authorities and the opposition in Belgrade, that the state of the media in Serbia was regrettable.
A representative of the Independent Journalists' Association of Serbia (IJAS), Dragan Janjic, said that this regrettable situation in the media was a consequence of a long-time trend that could not be fixed by embellishment ahead of the election, but rather through serious changes.
"The message to the political actors in a democratic society is to ensure that the biggest part of the population has equal access to information," said Janjic.
Stevan Ristic of the Media Association said that the conditions for media financing and on the market were not equal, while regulations were disregarded.
Ristic said that public companies, in just three months in 2012, when the Serbian Progressive Party came to power, terminated contracts on advertising in the Vreme weekly.
"It is an anomaly that the bestselling weeklies have no access to advertisers," said Ristic, while on the other hand the tabloids get plenty of money from the budget.
Local Press association representative Stojan Markovic said that local media were under enormous economic and political pressure. That pressure particularly intensifies through lawsuits filed ahead of elections.
Markovic also said that people close to the regime purchased local media in order to impose propaganda content. According to him, the damage caused by abuse of media project financing from municipal budgets is considerable.