The debates gathered more than 40 participants including representatives of local media, local government, professional associations and experts.
Media financing through the state budget has so far been implemented in two ways: most of the funds were distributed directly (through public procurement procedures, directly from the budget or through direct contracting), while smaller amount of funds were distributed through open calls for content production.
The new media regulations prescribe significant changes and introduce new practices in budgetary financing of media content under which open-call procedures are the only legal way of financing.
BIRN Serbia presented an analysis of the current practices of open-call procedures, clearly earmarking potential pitfalls: lack of standards and criteria, lack of programme quality and lack of broadcasting possibility. The same analysis will be presented later in Novi Sad, Novi Pazar and Belgrade.
The debates are organised within the project ‘Enhancing media independence through development of sustainable and competitive financing model’, supported by the MATRA programme of the embassy of the Kingdom of the Netherlands.