Why are independent media failing to take root or survive in many countries? Center for International Media Assistance (CIMA) suggest that part of the answer is connected to a concept known as media capture.
Media capture is a systemic governance problem where political leaders and media owners work together in a symbiotic but mutually corrupting relationship: Media owners provide supportive news coverage to political leaders in exchange for favorable government treatment of their businesses and political interests.
As part of its continuing stream of research and analysis of this phenomenon, CIMA published Captured News Media: Bosnia and Herzegovina, Serbia, and Montenegro in June 2016. This report succeeds last year’s publication of Captured News Media: The Case of Turkey.
Media evolution in the Balkans matters. This region has been a cultural, political, and economic fault line historically, and its importance is particularly pronounced today. The success or failure of these countries to create a sustainable environment for independent media could have spillover effects on surrounding countries and beyond. Studying the media environment in this region is also a commentary on how well donor action has performed as a bulwark against the growing forces of media capture from well-financed local and international oligarchs and politicians seeking to influence public opinion in a pivotal region.