Today, the Protector of Citizens stated that recording problems the media faced at the competitions for co-financing media contents into a single platform, compiled in agreement with relevant media associations and unions, would enable this institution to launch the initiatives to amend the applicable regulations in that area.
“With regards to media projects co-financing, either associations or individual media may request the Ministry of Culture and Information to inspect the legality and regularity of the procedure of and the decision on the funds allocation. If they are not satisfied with the responses by the Ministries, or if they do not receive the response within 30 days, they may address the Protector of Citizens at that point. At the moment, it is the only legal path,” Mr. Pašalić said.
However, if the problems related to the co-financing of media content were recorded in this single database of attacks and pressure on journalists, modeled after the European database, it would speed up the Protector of Citizens’ response regarding these and other problems that journalist encounter, said Pašalić.
“I believe that, unless we reach a consensus on having a single platform and unless it starts operating as soon as possible, we will lose precious time. Primarily, in the Protector of Citizens’ quicker response to the circumstances when the media, whether local or national, are not satisfied with the manner in which the procedure of allocating co-financing funds was carried out. And then, that is a sufficient reason for the Protector of Citizens to launch initiative to amend the regulations", stated Pašalić.
The Protector of Citizens once again called on all journalists' associations that have signed an agreement on the development of a single platform to submit data as soon as possible and stressed that this database will identify the mistakes in the mode of work and repetitive omissions and lead to launching the initiatives for amending the regulations or, if necessary, enacting a new law.
“I will not withdraw from making this single platform regardless of the fact that, in my opinion, the feeding of the data into it is relatively slow. Now, I ask you to gather all this information and, that following such phenomena, we can publicly point out that something is not in accordance with the law or that it has proved to be ineffective, and to start amending the law”, said Pašalić at the conference "Project co-financing of media content - advantages and disadvantages", organized by "Local Press" association.