BELGRADE, 03.08.2017. – The Independent Journalists Association of Serbia regrets and expresses serious concern because of the closure of magazine Newsweek Serbia.
IJAS emphasizes that magazine Newsweek which has professional editorial policy and a variety of content, especially by dealing with specific non-commercial topics of public importance, occupies a special position in the Serbian media scene.
We are worried about the explanation of closure because publisher of Newsweek, Adria Media Group (AMG), claims that the termination of the publication of this magazine is the result of the “persecution” of this media company at the request of the authorities and the President of the Republic of Serbia. AMG has a license to publish Newsweek in Serbia and Montenegro by the end of 2024, but, as announced, due to “clashing of state power holders with critically thinking media and abuse of all institutions, this influential magazine will disappear from the market.” AMG points out that “a two-month unlawful blockade of all company accounts that was introduced without explanation and without specifying the amount of non-existent (tax) debt” has led to the newspaper being closed.
Without going into justification of the AMG claims, IJAS believes that the media market in Serbia is politically controlled and that in practice they have not come into force with the legally prescribed rules and mechanisms that should ensure full freedom of the media.
Contrary to market logic, the functioning and survival of the media are directly dependent on political will and power that directly threatens their civilization role and mission in building and preserving a democratic society.