Debate on Albanian Language Media in South Serbia

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Public forum entitled The Albanian Language Media: Opportunities for Improved Dialogue with Institutions, was held in hotel Rozafa in Bujanovac on December 23.

The aim of discussion was to initiate a constructive dialogue aimed at creating a favorable environment for the media scene in southern Serbia.

Vukasin Obradovic, President of the Independent Association of Journalists in Serbia, NUNS, has cited lack of professional standards, economic mismanagement and unstable political situation as main reasons why the media in southern Serbia are under-developed and on the verge of collapse, as he said.

As key  issues  the media  in southern Serbia are facing, Baki Rexhepi, President of the Media Committee of the National Council of Albanians, has cited the unequal position of broadcasters, the unfinished process of privatization, and lack of human resources.

Goran Karadzic, from the State Broadcasting Agency, RRA, has expressed his hope that media strategy which is supposed to be released soon will resolve the issue as key things the strategy will deal with are privatisation of all media in Serbia and the issue of media in minority languages.

According to him, the most common problems RRA faces in South Serbia is piracy and media content as media broadcast without the proper license or they are incorporating Albanian television programmes into their own programme.

Dragana Solomon, Head of Media Department of the OSCE mission in Serbia, has presented a survey from 2009 which says that over 600 editors and journalists in Serbia appealed to the political and commercial pressures while working.

“The main reason for such situation on the Serbian media scene is too many media and there is not enough financial support for quality and independent media coverage,” Solomon said.