Hot Topic - Media in Serbia
The closing of a newspaper does not attract much attention these days. Economics are unforgiving, we’ve learned. And no media platform can escape. There are other pressures, equally powerful, ready to crush.
That the news media rides on the coat-tails of startling headlines and sound bites is far from a revelation. Social media throws little snippets of color onto a revolving pallet, often revolting. Managing all this, for one purpose or another, occupies the most sacred of democratic processes, elections. Facts are transient, spin normal. To deny, disclaim, has become high art.
Public broadcasters working under constrained independence, administrative and financial, risk default to State broadcasting. Those separated barely a generation from dogmatic control face stiff resistance to new and open practice. Authorities always prefer a pliant mouthpiece.
The health of a media market can be measured by one particular vital sign, the radio sector. Listeners are engaged by stories and songs, dialects and sounds making radio stations part of the local conversation. Reliable and accessible yet always changing radio is the perfect bridge to the new media environment. Advertisers benefit from this and, in turn, make radio broadcasting a good business. That is, in theory, the way it’s supposed to work.
Opportunity and cash are charting the ebb and flow of recent media transactions. With most developed markets, strategic investors are buyers and financial investors are sellers as valuations continue to rise. In developing markets, media asset values have plummeted to historic low levels, changing the equation. Speculators are having a field day.
Self-regulation bodies that set standards in the media sphere are widely seen as good things, a mature approach to proscribing bad practices. The distasteful alternatives range from irresponsible chaos – yelling fire in a crowded theater – to legislated regulation – government censorship. The printed media has, more or less, adopted self-regulation as a means of keeping politicians out of their newsrooms while keeping a watchful eye on the politicians.
For media companies, foreign development carries risk and reward. Expansion opportunities beyond home borders advance on business models well-honed by experience. The best plans, though, can be laid to waste by changing local politics.
See also in ftm Knowledge
Western Balkans - The Struggle For Order And Independence
ftm reporting explores media development and investment in Serbia, Montenegro, Bosnia / Herzegovina, Croatia, Macedonia and Albania. Emerging from conflict broadcasters, publishers and governments face ghosts of the past to forge a new future. Includes Resources, 78 pages PDF (February 2013)
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Media in Spain - Diverse and Challenged – new
Media in Spain is steeped in tradition. yet challenged by diversity. Publishers hold great influence, broadcasters competing. New media has been slow to rise and business models for all are under stress. Rich in language and culture, Spain's media is reaching into the future and finding more than expected. 123 pages, PDF. January 2018
The Campaign Is On - Elections and Media
Elections campaigns are big media events. Candidates and issues are presented, analyzed and criticized in broadcast and print. Media is now more of a participant in elections than ever. This ftm Knowledge file reports on news coverage, advertising, endorsements and their effect on democracy at work. 84 pages. PDF (September 2017)
Fake News, Hate Speech and Propaganda
The institutional threat of fake news, hate speech and propaganda is testing the mettle of those who toil in news media. Those three related evils are not new, by any means, but taken together have put the truth and those reporting it on the back foot. Words matter. This ftm Knowledge file explores that light. 48 pages, PDF (March 2017)
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