16. feb 2020.

Media expert: Changes to media regulator are essentially insignificant

Recent changes made in Serbia’s regulatory body for electronic media appear to be only cosmetic and designed to satisfy international officials while not really changing anything essential in the media landscape, media expert Smiljana Milinkov told N1 on Sunday.

REM, Serbia’s electronic media regulator, recently got five new board members and a new rulebook public services have to apply during pre-election campaigns.

„Unfortunately, I’m afraid that only names were changed and that we can’t speak of essential changes,” said Milinkov, from the Philosophy Faculty of Novi Sad.

The atmosphere during the election of new board members leaves the impression that no real change will occur, she said, adding that the questions that were asked often sounded like those the ruling elite would ask.

„All this seems to be done so we can show the foreigners that we do have a special (pre-election) rulebook, that we have changed the board members, that we have done everything we were supposed to,” Milinkov said.

The changes serve as an excuse and are meant for external use, she said, predicting that the coming election will be “very problematic” regarding media coverage.

Serbia’s society is “rapidly heading towards the lowest level of democracy,” Milinkov concluded.

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