Serbia: Media Regulator’s Wrongdoings Exposed

Serbian Regulatory Authority for Electronic Media (REM) exerts influence on the media by espousing some and thus creates inequality in the media market, largely sheltered by its political dependence on the ruling party, the Center for Investigative Journalism of Serbia (CINS) finds.

SEENPM provides an overview of the CINS investigative stories (published in March and April 2019) accompanied by Transparency Serbia legal analyses of each story findings.

REM’s Concessions to Televisions to the Detriment of Children
Even though it notices that free-to-air televisions broadcast programs that damage minors, REM fails to punish them. The regulatory body’s software over the course of three years registered at least 1,000 violations, where televisions did not properly rate the age appropriateness of a given program. None of the cases made it to court, which a former REM member considers a concession to the televisions for the sake of their profit from advertising. REM initiates proceedings for other violations, months afterward, which is why almost a half of the proceedings exceeded the statute of limitations.
Read the story and legal analysis.

REM Ignores Its Own TV Program Analyses to Justify Pro-Regime TV Campaigns
CINS is publishing the details of reports by the Regulatory Authority of Electronic Media (REM) Supervision and Analysis Service, which reveal several violations by the Pink and Studio B televisions during the campaign for the election of members of the Belgrade city administration in 2018. The pro-regime televisions led negative campaigns against Dragan Đilas and other opposition leaders, as well as against journalist Tamara Skrozza. The REM Council ignored the findings of its own service.
Read the story and legal analysis.

REM Enables Unpermitted Extra Earnings of Public Service Broadcaster
Through the extension of commercial breaks during popular feature series, REM enabled the national public service broadcaster to make extra earnings despite rules that envisage longer commercial breaks for the broadcaster only on special occasions, such as international sporting events.
Read the story and legal analysis.

The stories and legal analyses were produced within the CINS project supported the Open Society Foundation Serbia.