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Serbia falls 14 spots in World Press Freedom index - RSF

Author Radomir Ralev
Serbia falls 14 spots in World Press Freedom index - RSF Author: Jon S.

BELGRADE (Serbia), April 18 (SeeNews) - Serbia has fallen 14 places to 90th spot in the latest annual freedom of press ranking compiled by Reporters Without Borders, the international non-governmental organisation said on Thursday.

"Within five years of President Aleksandar Vucic in effect governing the country, Serbia has become a place where practicing journalism is neither safe nor supported by the state," Reporters Without Borders (RSF) said.

The number of attacks on media is on the rise in Serbia, including death threats, and inflammatory rhetoric targeting journalists is increasingly coming from the governing officials, RSF noted.

"Many attempts on journalists’ integrity have not been investigated, solved, or punished, and the aggressive smear campaigns that pro-government media orchestrate against investigative reporters are in the full swing."

"Some courageous journalists continue to cover dangerous subjects such as crime and corruption, but because of media ownership concentration, their stories are usually with a limited reach."

RSF estimated that collusion between politicians and media, widespread government-tolerated fake news, and a lack of pluralism in the print and broadcast media are also all sources of a big concern.

Published by RSF annually since 2002, the World Press Freedom Index measures the level of freedom available to journalists in 180 countries using the following criteria – pluralism, media independence, media environment and self-censorship, legislative environment, transparency, infrastructure, and abuses.