Media should be moving towards meeting public interests, and the daily newspaper “Danas” is a good illustration of journalists being good owners and such a medium surviving on the market, Head of the EU Delegation to Serbia Michael Davenport said in interview with weekly magazine “Pancevac”.
“When it comes to media funding, it is crucial that inflow of state resources is not violating the rules of competition but moving towards meeting public interests. New media laws define this segment well, they just need to be properly implemented,” Davenport said, answering the question about the forthcoming privatisation of media.
“I personally think that journalists and other people employed in media would not turn out to be worse owners of the company they live off, than anybody else. “Danas” daily is a good example: it is owned by journalists and the newspaper shows that such an ownership structure can survive on the market. There are similar examples around Europe, it is nothing unusual,” he added.
According to him, the future of media will “surely benefit from the employees joining together, buying the media in which they work and entering the market, in stead of waiting for the State and local self-governments to support them. This is, however, the question for those working in media: Are they ready for the market competition?”
Responding to the question about the organisation of local self-governments in Serbia and competences of local authorities, Davenport said that Serbia “faces a great challenge in terms of improving efficiency and results achieved by public administration at local and central levels.”
“EU is ready to support Serbia to develop such an administration, so that taxpayers could obtain quality services for their money, as well as a more efficient public administration”, he said.
“One of the greatest development potentials lies within the EU funds aimed at regional development and cooperation. Serbia should approach this issue seriously, and prepare for the EU membership and funds that will be at its disposal by implementing internal reforms,” Ambassador Davenport added.
Read the entire interview here