Serbia has fallen three places on the media freedom list published by the organisation “Reporters Sans Frontières” (RSF – Reporters Without Borders) in a new annual report.
In the 2020 report, Serbia is now part of the group of problematic countries, ranking 93rd out of a total of 180 classified countries. With a score of 31.6, it ranks below all the countries in the region, with the exception of Montenegro which ranks 105th. In the 2019 report, Serbia was ranked 90th.
Noting that the situation in Serbia is worrying, the report states that after six years of Aleksandar Vucic’s reign, first as Prime Minister and then as President, Serbia has become a country where it is often dangerous to be a journalist and where fake news is becoming increasingly visible and popular at an alarming rate.
The report further states that the authorities were able to prosecute those responsible for the murder of journalist Slavko Curuvija in 1999, but most of the other investigations into the attacks on media personnel have stopped or have been shelved, such as the investigation into the attack on journalist Milan Jovanovic, whose house was set on fire in December 2018 while he and his wife were inside sleeping.
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The number of attacks on the media has increased dramatically, with officials increasingly using aggressive rhetoric against journalists. Some brave journalists continue to tackle dangerous topics such as crime and corruption, but due to the high concentration of media ownership in the country, their stories are usually only available online, according to the report.
RSF is also concerned about the agreements between politicians and the media, the widespread fake news tolerated by the authorities and the harassment of Aleksandar Obradovic, the protagonist of the famous Krusik case.
Among the countries of the region in this year’s report, Slovenia (32nd place), Bosnia and Herzegovina (58th), Croatia (59th), Kosovo (70th), Albania (84th) and North Macedonia (92nd) are ahead of Serbia, followed only by Montenegro (105th).
Compared to last year, Croatia and Bosnia and Herzegovina have progressed the most, by five positions each, North Macedonia by three positions and Slovenia by two positions. Montenegro fell by one place, Albania by two and Serbia by three.
This post is also available in: Italiano