Media freedom on the way to EU

KAS panel at Deutsche Welle Global Media Forum

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A KAS panel discussion on media freedom and European values took place on 14 June during the Deutsche Welle Global Media Forum. Speakers were the freelance South East Europe correspondent Frank Stier, Milica Šarić, Journalist at the Center for Investigative Reporting in Serbia (CINS), Nadine Gogu, Executive Director of the Independent Journalism Center (IJC) and Ognian Zlatev, Head of the European Commission Representation in Bulgaria. The discussion was moderated by Christian Spahr, Head of the KAS Media Program South East Europe.

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(from left) Ognian Zlatev, Head of the European Commission Representation in Bulgaria, Christian Spahr, Head of KAS Media Program South East Europe, Milica Šarić, Journalist at the Center for Investigative Reporting in Serbia (CINS) and Nadine Gogu, Executive Director of the Independent Journalism Center (IJC)

(from left) Ognian Zlatev, Head of the European Commission Representation in Bulgaria, Christian Spahr, Head of KAS Media Program South East Europe, Milica Šarić, Journalist at the Center for Investigative Reporting in Serbia (CINS) and Nadine Gogu, Executive Director of the Independent Journalism Center (IJC)

The main topic was the question why media freedom deteriorates in many South East European countries. Thereby the close relationships between media and politics were discussed.

Christian Spahr emphasised that EU enlargement would not be thinkable without media freedom. The Head of the European Commission Representation in Bulgaria, Ognian Zlatev, talked about the obstacles for media freedom and diversity in the process of EU enlargement. As a main issue he identified the positive discrimination of certain politicians by the media in South East Europe, which is mainly made possible by the media owners themselves who have close links with the politics. In addition to that, he considered problematic that governmental institutions influence media with advertising budgets. As an example he gave the situation in Macedonia – 60 percent of the advertising revenues there are coming from governmental authorities, according to Zlatev. Also in other countries of the region, the governments are making a considerable spending on media. Zlatev also underlined that media freedom represents a basic precondition for the EU enlargement. That’s why in his opinion it is important to reduce the influence on media by the politics.

The Moldovan NGO expert Nadine Gogu talked about the media situation in her country. She explained that there is also a very close relationship between media and politics. More than 60 percent of the broadcasting market is in the hands of one media owner, she explained. Moreover, there is a strong Russian influence on media, which is linked with propaganda, and a sinking trust of citizens in the European Union.

The Global Media Forum is an international media conference of Germany's international broadcaster Deutsche Welle, attended by more than 2.000 visitors. This year's conference took place at the World Conference Center in Bonn from 13 to 15 June. The topic 2016 was "Media. Freedom. Values". The Konrad-Adenauer-Stiftung has already cooperated with Deutsche Welle in the past and organised panel discussions during the Global Media Forum; in 2015 about the topic of propaganda.

Author

Manuela Zlateva

Publication series

Event Reports

published

Bonn, June 14, 2016