Not much progress, but we will keep on trying

“Unless we have free media, we are not going to be able to curb corruption”

Interview with Miroslav N. Milićević, vice president of Anticorruption Council in Serbia.

Miroslav N. Milićević, vice president of Anticorruption Council in Serbia in an interview for Media Observatory pointed out the importance of media in the fight against the corruption, especially in the circumstances where government officials do not demonstrate the political will, and where judiciary has done little to fight corruption. However, media outlets, being under a strong economic control, have been “disabling our efforts to address the issues of corruption and to present them to the general public“ says Miličćević, with only few media of modest audience reach actually reporting on the work of Council. As he reports: „as time elapsed, it was more and more difficult for us to have any, let’s say presentation in the media. We could never get a term on state television, we could not publish what we want“.

These are some of the reasons that Council has also tackled with media ownership and published two reports, in 2011 and 2014. Milićević further claims that not only did the government fail to provide any response to Council’s reports, but also going public with the reports so far did not change much. Similarly, Milićević indicates that the criminal charges for corruption did not yield results, with investigations lasting for years and decades. Both free media and a strong political will is needed to curb corruption and disclose those in control of the state and financial resources. In terms the cooperation with the media, Milićević reports that so far it did not progress much, “but we will keep on trying”, he says.

Media Integrity
Media Ownership and Finances