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BELGRADE (Serbia), April 25 (SeeNews) - Amid high media ownership concentration and lack of pluralism, Serbia has fallen 10 places to 76th spot in the latest freedom of press ranking compiled by Reporters Without Borders, the international non-governmental organisation said on Wednesday.
Serbia has become a country where it is unsafe to be a journalist under president Aleksandar Vucic, while collusion between politicians and media, a high level of ownership concentration, and a lack of pluralism in the print and broadcast media are also sources of concern, Reporters Without Borders (RSF) said.
The number of attacks on journalists that have not been investigated, solved, or punished, and the aggressive smear campaigns that pro-government media orchestrate against investigative reporters are alarming, RSF noted.
Serbia occupied the sixth highest position among the countries in Southeast Europe (SEE), after Slovenia, Romania, Bosnia, Croatia and Albania, the RSF's 2018 World Press Freedom Index showed.
"Serbia wants to join the European Union, but for the time being it utterly fails to meet EU press freedom standards. This is clear from the experiences of reporters working in the field," RSF pointed out.
However, some courageous journalists continue to cover dangerous subjects such as crime and corruption, but their stories are usually published by online media with a limited reach, according to RSF.
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.