2015 Media Integrity Reports on Seven Enlargement Countries Released

A new series of media integrity reports on the seven EU hopefuls has been released as part of the SEE Media Observatory project. Now in its Phase 2, the project has been implemented by a group of SEENPM members since 2013.

The 2015 series of media integrity reports builds on the 2014 book Media Integrity Matters, which focused on Albania, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Macedonia, Serbia as well as Croatia. The new series covers all seven enlargement countries, with reports on Turkey, Montenegro and Kosovo centered on media ownership and media finances, while the reports on Albania, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Macedonia and Serbia examine financial aspects of the relationship between the media and the state.

Available in both HTML and PDF formats, the reports paint a worrying picture of deteriorating media freedoms in the region. The report on Turkey highlights increasing concentration of ownership and clientelism in the media sector. A lack of transparency of ownership and legal vacuum characterise Kosovo’s media scene. The report on Montenegro examines the weakness of regulation enforcement and persistence of media control patterns. The likely impact of a set of media laws adopted in 2014 on the relationship between the state and the media is analysed in the report on Serbia. The Bosnia report studies increasing dependence of media outlets on political and business interest groups. In Albania, clientelist links characterise the relationship between the authorities and media outlets.  The Macedonia report shows how public money is being used to curb media freedoms.

The SEE Media Observatory is a regional partnership of civil society organisations aimed at enhancing media freedom and pluralism and influencing media reforms in South East Europe. It focuses in particular on media and journalism integrity, spotlighting harmful patterns of ownership and media financing. The project is led by Ljubljana’s Peace Institute.