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ANEM media monitoring report shows increased pressure on media during electoral campaign

(ANEM/IFEX) - The results of the legal monitoring of the Serbian media scene in March 2012, contained in the Thirty-first Monitoring Report, indicate the following:

The entire media sector, as well as the society as a whole, was marked with the election campaigns of political parties and coalitions, which began even prior to March 13, when elections at all levels were called for May 6, 2012.

Calling of the elections resulted in increased pressure on the media, as evident from several cases treated in the part of the Report relating to freedom of expression. These pressures, as well as physical attacks on journalists and their crews, were most often caused by dissatisfaction of the local political power with critical reporting of certain media and journalists on their work. Discrimination against those journalists and the media, as well as accusations of local authorities and influential politicians that owners of some local media, as their counter-candidates in local elections, instrumentalize newsrooms in the interest of their political promotion, promotion of their parties, or parties that they are close to, affected very adversely the situation in this area and the exercise of right of the public to be informed on matters of public importance. In this part of the Report, the authors analyze the court proceeding against a journalist for alleged commission of the criminal offense - unlawful public commenting on legal proceedings.

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