Telekom Serbia opens two new media outlets against the law

First Euronews, now Bloomberg Adria… These are two new TV stations both owned by the state-owned company Telekom Serbia, the biggest telecom services provider in the country. But can a state-owned company be the founder of media outlets?

While K1 and Tanjug are privately-owned television stations with similar ownership structures, the common denominator for Euronews and Bloomberg, which bear the names of the renowned global brands, is called Telekom Serbia.

The relevant regulation prescribes that a state-owned company cannot open media outlets although Telekom claims that this refers to those companies which operations are financed from the state budget, which Telekom claims does not apply to them as they are not a state budget beneficiary.

What does the law really say?

According to the lawyer Rodoljub Šabić, the Law on Public Information says the following: “It explicitly says that enterprises that are entirely or partially owned by the state cannot open or own media outlets, and Telekom undoubtedly is state-owned. So the dilemma of whether a state corporation can set up media outlets is a false dilemma, as this is completely illegal.”

The legality of media operations and their formation should be supervised by regulatory bodies. This, however, does not happen.

“Both the law and the regulatory body serve the interests of a governing political structure, and not the public interest. There is a total absence of transparency in certain operations that are difficult to place in a public interest context, such as the purchase of the Kopernikus TV,” Šabić adds.

The new competition for the allocation of national broadcasting frequencies, which is due to be launched soon, will certainly bring new surprises.

(Danas, 01.06.2022)


This post is also available in: Italiano

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