Ministry report says Telekom Serbia proposed disputed parts of media laws

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Source/Author: N1

The state-owned Telekom Serbia proposed the disputed articles of two recently adopted media laws, a report on the Ministry of Information and Telecommunications portal said.

The disputed articles of the laws were removed from the drafts under pressure at home and from abroad.

According to the ministry report, Telekom Serbia proposed changes to the article of the law would allow the regulatory body to define the list of channels on electronic media and set the prices of media services. The report adds that both proposed articles were rejected.

The government amended an article of its draft laws to force cable operators to include the state TVs and private TV stations with national frequencies in their offer at prices set by the Regulatory Body for Electronic Media (REM) and would not allow operators to remove those channels. The government also included an article which reserved the first two places on the list of channels for the public broadcaster followed by the pro-regime Pink, Prva, B92 and Happy stations. Those changes to the drafts were made without informing members of the Working Group that drafted the laws.

Those disputed articles were removed following government consultations with the OSCE Mission but the articles that allow Telekom ownership of media outlets were left in the draft even though that runs counter to the national Media Strategy.