The panel was part of a conference on media freedom organized by Newsweek magazine in Belgrade which brought together more than 200 participants including journalists, editors and media experts.
Georgiev pointed out that investigative reporters can face problems if they publish stories that the authorities find uncomfortable.
“The government shaped the media environment in the country and if you do some kind of monitoring or research what the government does and what the people who sit in government do, you find yourself in trouble,” Georgiev told the conference.
He said that after BIRN Serbia published a report on a government contract for pumping flood water from the Serbia’s Tamava mine – which was criticised by the authorities – other media took the government’s line.
“When the Prime Minister had a problem with us, fellow journalists didn’t address the issue about our story, but about who pays us,” he said.
At the conference, BIRN Regional Network Director Gordana Igrić moderated a conversation about crime and organ trafficking in Kosovo with Michael Montgomery from the Center for Investigative Reporting in the United States.