The Bureau for Social Research BIRODI has announced that several factors have created a “populism industry” system in Serbia, in which the media “are the means of promotion, propaganda and retaliation in the service of personal power,” with the professional media being on the margins of the media system.
On the occasion of May 3, World Press Freedom Day, this CSO said that the citizens’ constitutional right to truthful, comprehensive and timely information about the matters of public interest has been violated.
“Such situation in the media results in a kind of self-censorship among the citizens as one-half of them believes it is not wise to say what they think,” the announcement says.
After having monitored the central information programs for nine years using the Memo 98 international comparative methodology, BIRODI concluded that the national-reach TV stations have become “the means of media promotion, propaganda and retaliation.”
“This last mentioned role since 2016 has been taken over by TV Pink, which has been reporting on [President] Aleksandar Vucic extremely extensively and positively, and extremely negatively on the opposition. The same reporting model has been registered on TV Prva and TV92, after they changed owners,” the announcement further says, adding that during the latest elections the presence of President Vucic, who “fused his party and public functions,” was dominant.