Strengthening Media Systems

Strengthening Media Systems

Strengthening Media Systems (SMS) aims to improve the legislative, regulatory, and economic environment for Serbia’s media so they can provide Serbian citizens with the information they need to engage effectively in informed citizenship and hold their government accountable. The project supports the development of a broader, more cohesive, and more effective network for media support and reform to ensure that Serbian media organizations continue to adapt to changes in the evolving political, technological, and economic environment.

Strengthening Media Systems

Strengthening Media Systems (SMS) aims to improve the legislative, regulatory, and economic environment for Serbia’s media so they can provide Serbian citizens with the information they need to engage effectively in informed citizenship and hold their government accountable. The project supports the development of a broader, more cohesive, and more effective network for media support and reform to ensure that Serbian media organizations continue to adapt to changes in the evolving political, technological, and economic environment.

Quick Facts

  • The media market in Serbia is saturated, unbalanced, inadequately regulated, and insufficiently transparent, with unclear ownership of media outlets, opaque financial operations, and a distorted advertising market.
  • The estimated total value of the Serbian media market in 2018 was €414 million, with the bulk of revenue (43%) coming from advertising. Public and state funding for media (including public broadcasters) represents a very large share (over 30%) of the market.
  • Television and radio audiences are relatively stable. TV maintains the largest audience share, and daily newspapers are facing a steady decline.
  • The internet media audience is steadily increasing, and the growth of this segment’s share in total advertising expenditures has doubled in only five years (2012–2017).

Goals

  • Support the development of a more enabling legal, regulatory, and market environment for media in Serbia.
  • Support the development of financial sustainability, innovation, and partnerships in the Serbian media sector.
Strengthening Media Systems

Project Activities

  • Evaluate Serbian media market: The project is working on standardizing procedures and mechanisms to determine the value of media outlets and the media market, and provide \data for advertisers and the media industry.
  • Modernize business models: The project supports local media in their efforts to modernize their business models and outreach techniques to improve their long-term sustainability.
  • Facilitate e-payment services: The project has established an e-payment task force to assist media outlets that face challenges in monetizing their online services and meeting new regulations.
  • Give grants for technical assistance: The project will award six grants to give media outlets the opportunity to employ the expertise they need to test new business models. An additional four media outlets currently receive comprehensive technical assistance and mentoring, based on plans created to fit the needs of each media outlet.
  • Conduct a Media Jam: The project is developing a Media Jam—a hackathon-like event—to promote podcasting and offer new business models for the media.
  • Conduct a demand-side study: Recognizing the need for reliable data on public media consumption patterns, the project is conducting a comprehensive demand-side study in Serbia. The study will help determine audience values, needs, and interests regarding media content.


Watch the video in Serbian »

Partners

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People

Contact

Evan Tracz, chief of party, etracz@irex.org
Linda Trail, senior technical advisor, ltrail@irex.org
Jessica Sadler, program officer, jsadler@irex.org
Monica Leedle, program associate, mleedle@irex.org