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 From: World Association of Newspapers (WAN), gov.affairs@wan.asso.fr

Mr Vojislav Kostunica
Prime Minister of the Republic of Serbia
Belgrade, Republic of Serbia

23 August 2005

Dear Prime Minister,

We are writing on behalf of the World Association of Newspapers, which represents 18,000 publications in 100 countries, to express our serious concern at insults and threats made by Serbian Capital Investments Minister Velimir Ilic to RTV B92 journalists.

According to reports, on 15 August Mr Ilic and his media advisor Petar
Lazovic launched a tirade of verbal abuse at a B92 journalist when she asked Mr Ilic for an explanation of his earlier admission that he had played a part in securing a decision to free Marko Milosevic, son of the former Yugoslav president, from criminal prosecution. Mr Ilic and Mr Lazovic reacted to the question with a flood of obscenities, slander and death threats. The journalist herself was subjected to gender-based insults and broader insults were made against all B92 journalists, in particular editor-in-chief Veran Matic.

The cabinet reportedly discussed Mr Ilic's conduct during a one-hour meeting on 18 August. Although some members of the cabinet were critical of Mr Ilic's behaviour, he reportedly refused to apologise publicly, only accepting a compromise solution of expressing regret in a prepared statement.

We are seriously concerned that a cabinet minister is able to make violent threats against journalists without sanction. Such behaviour is utterly unbecoming for a member of the government and has no place in a democratic society. Mr Ilic's comments are only the latest in a series of outbursts demonstrating his dislike of, and even contempt for, the independent media.

We respectfully remind you that it is the duty of the state to provide an environment in which journalists are able to carry out their professional
duties without fear of intimidation. Such incidents foster a climate of fear that inhibits journalistic investigation and can promote self-censorship.

We respectfully call on you to ensure that Mr Ilic is severelydisciplined and to make it clear that such conduct by ministers will not be tolerated.

We look forward to hearing from you at your earliest convenience.

Yours sincerely,

Gavin O'Reilly
President
World Association of Newspapers


George Brock
President


 

... više ...


 

Defiant Iraqi Journalists Set Out Their Demands for Safety and a Democratic MediaCulture

The journalists ofIraqaredetermined to strive for unity, even in the face of a dangerous politicalimpasse over the new Constitution. Meeting inAmman,Jordanlast week a group of more than40 media leaders from journalists’ groups across the country adopted a Charterfor Social and Professional Rights and put in place a series of proposals tostrengthen journalistic independence.

“Journalists are caught in the crossfire of adangerous political battle,” saidAidanWhite, IFJ General Secretary who chaired the meeting. “But theyare ready to work together to create a media culture that could be a model forthe region.”

The Iraqi media landscape is dangerous andpoliticised and journalists struggle for professionalism in an environment wherethey are poorly trained, badly paid and subject to intense pressure from owners,political factions and religious groups.

The meeting adopted a number of proposalsthat, if adopted, could ensure journalism plays an enhanced role in building ademocratic culture in the heavily divided country.

Chief among the demands were:

  • The creation of a national council for mediato act as a monitoring body and as an instrument of self-regulation for Iraqijournalism;
  • The preparation and adoption of a code ofethics after detailed consultation with Iraqi journalists;
  • A new industrial relations landscape withfair contracts and labour rights for all journalists and mediastaff;
  • The establishment of a national women’scommittee for Iraqi media to support gender equality and to promote a nationalwomen’s network of women in Iraqi journalism;
  • A nationwide training programme onjournalists’ safety and the opening of an Iraqi journalists’ safety centre inBaghdad.

Other issues discussed at the meetingincluded the setting up of a national training infrastructure open to alljournalists – including those in the regions – and creating a dialogue withjournalists inPalestine, where colleagues work in similarcrisis conditions.

“The message from this meeting is that Iraqijournalists are determined, even in the face of violence and intimidation, tostick together to press their demands for democratic, professional and socialrights,” said White.

The meeting, supported by UNESCO, the BritishTrades Union Congress and International Media Support inDenmark, alsoagreed to relaunch the Iraqi National Journalists’ Advisory Panel, which bringstogether representatives of journalists from around the country. “This meetinghas identified a plan of action for journalism that is urgently needed,” saidWhite. “Now we need the political will to make it work.”

Formore information: +32 2 235 2211

The IFJrepresents over 500,000 journalists in more than 110 countriesworldwide

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IFJ Calls on BBC to “Come Clean” Over Deal with Canadian Broadcaster That Locked out 5,500 Staff

 The International Federation of Journalists and its regional group the European Federation of Journaliststoday called on the BBC to “come clean” over its role in providing broadcastmaterial to the Canadian public broadcaster CBC which is engaged in a bitterbattle with unions after it locked out 5,500 workers.

 The BBC has so far refused to meet with British trade unions representing journalists and other workers to explain its role in the Canadian dispute which began on August 15after talks with unions on a new contract broke down overthe CBC demand for the unfettered right to hire contract and part-time workersto take jobs now filled by staff employees.

When the company locked out its union staff most original programming and news in particular, ground to a halt with the radio and TV slotsfilled with repeats and imported content.The broadcaster relies heavily on BBC foreignnews reports for television news.

 “The BBC claims not to beinvolved,” saidAidan WhiteGeneralSecretary of the EFJ and the IFJ, “but while it refuses to disclose the detailsof its arrangement with the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation, the BBC willcontinue to be accused of strikebreaking. It’s time to come clean over whatdeals have been made.”

 The IFJ wrote last week to the European Broadcasting Union, which groups national,rand international public broadcasters, warning that the use of the BBC andother broadcasters, such as the English service of German network DeutscheWelle, to fill gaps in CBC programming threatens the reputation of publicbroadcasters.

 The IFJ is backing local unions which yesterday protested at the BBC’s refusal tomeet them over the issue and has asked all its members, and in particular theNational Union of Journalists in Great Britain and Ireland and affiliates inGermany, to work together with its Canadian member, the Canadian Media Guild(TNG/CWA), to prevent broadcasts from global networks being used to make up formissing local content.

The dispute is backed by the NUJ in theUKand the IFJ’sUSaffiliate,the Newspaper Guild/CWA as well as the Canadian actors’ union ACTRA, which haveinstructed members to do nothing that would undermine the CBC staffposition.

 “This dispute can only be solved through negotiations on the spot. The role of the BBCcould make matters worse,” said White. “We hope that the BBC will explain itsposition toUKunions and will not put itsreputation for impartiality at risk.”

 Further information: + 32 2 235 22 07

TheIFJ represents over 500,000 journalists in more than 110countries

 

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 RADIO PROGRAM IN ROMA LANGUAGE

UROSEVAC, August 13, 2005 (Beta) - Roma community from Urosevac and neighboring municipalities will be able to follow the program in Roma language on Radio Urosevac as of tomorrow.

A 30-minute program in Roma language will consist of information and
entertainment.

The consent and resources for commencement of the broadcast was given by the
board of directors of the municipal government in Urosevac.


TIJANIC AGAINST VUCO

BELGRADE, August 16, 2005 (Danas) - RTS Director General Aleksandar Tijanic has filed a legal complaint against Biljana Kovacevic-Vuco, director of the Legal Committee for Human Rights (YUKOM) for alleged "series of criminal acts" conducted by publishing of the book titled "The case of Public Servant Aleksandar Tijanic".

The book, published by YUKOM few months ago, was presented as the first in the series of publications from "Against the Oblivion" edition, consisting of a great number of quotations "gathered from public opus" of Aleksandar Tijanic.

One of many reasons for filing legal complaint against Vuco was the
publication of segments of Tijanic's articles, which he never agreed to.

"The book is full of serious insults and libel on my account. One of its
parts presented the minutes from the parliamentary sessions which was stolen from the government's archives and was a classified document. I guess the minutes were stolen from the archive by the famous friend of mafia and Vuco's insider, the same one Vuco is now defending in the court. However, if Serbia is at all legal state, I believe that Vuco will soon end up in behind the bars", said Tijanic.

Commenting on the charges against her, Biljana Kovacevic-Vuco told Belgrade daily Danas that there were no solid grounds for it. She said that Tijanic's call on authorship rights was absolutely arbitrary since the book contained the parts of articles which had been already published and for which YUKOM did not have to ask approval.



KOSTUNICA MUST RESPOND TO ILIC ATTACK

BELGRDE, August 16, 2005 (B92) - B92 director Veran Matic has written to Prime Minister Vojislav Kostunica over the threats and insults aimed at the company and himself by Capital Investment Minister Velimir Ilic and his spin doctor Petar Lazovic.

Matic has demanded that the prime minister explain the behavior of his coalition partner and cabinet minister clearly to the public.

The latest attack of the minister Ilic, this time on B92, has been condemned by the professional and media organisations, together with many political parties, except Ilic's party New Serbia which opposed the "media campaign" against its leader.

On the other hand, the case of Marko Milosevic has divided the ruling
coalition.

In his letter to Vojislav Kostunica, the director of RTV B92 noted that the insults and treats were a response to a legitimate question of concern to the public, which has the right to know all the circumstances surrounding the withdrawal of charges, after five years, against the son of Slobodan Milosevic, Marko.

"I want to point out to the prime minister that the reaction of Minister
Ilic and his media advisor, for which many organisations have already made statements condemning them, was not only a lapse of taste, or incompetence in relations with the media. It is utterly clear which political milieu has the idea that those who think differently and in undesirable ways must be sent into exile or a sanatorium", said Matic.

"Personally, I expect you to seek Minister Ilic's resignation because of
this attack. Your failure to respond will be a clear message that you accept and support this kind of communication between the most important bodies of authority and the media", Matic said in the letter to Kostunica.

Ilic had earlier described reports that he had intervened in the withdrawal of charges against Marko Milosevic as ridiculous and said that certain media had given unnecessary attention to the story. In setting out his position, Ilic used language which the public is not accustomed to hearing from cabinet ministers.

Serbian President Boris Tadic said he was unhappy about the behavior of the capital investment minister and his verbal attack on B92.

"Primitivism and arrogance must not be characteristics displayed in
government service, and such behavior must not be allowed to distract
attention from the need for the public to learn the truth about Ilic's
involvement in the withdrawal of charges against Marko Milosevic", said Tadic in a statement.


JOURNALISTS STRONGLY CRITICAL OF ILIC'S BEHAVIOR

BELGRADE, August 16, 2005 (B92) - Reactions of journalists' associations to the latest outburst of minister Ilic were far less cautious than the response from the political parties.

President of the Independent Association of Serbian Journalists (IJAS)
Nebojsa Bugarinovic said that it was the job of journalists to ask questions which lead to a full understanding of controversial issues and described Ilic's response to this as unacceptable:

"What he demonstrates really goes beyond all boundaries of elementary and honorable activities. I think that this kind of relationship is at best shameful and I believe that the government must take stock about the way in which its ministers behave with information resources", said Bugarinovic, adding that this was not the first time that Ilic had behaved this way towards journalists.

Independent Association of Vojvodina Journalists was "disgusted" but not surprised by the attack of capital investment minister Velimir Ilic on journalists and editors of B92.

"Considering the psycho-physical condition of minister Ilic and his closest associates, it is possible that future attacks would go beyond the verbal, particularly if we know that Ilic had beaten journalists in front of cameras before", said NDNV in a statement.

The Association of Independent Electronic Media (ANEM) has also sought Ilic's dismissal and called on the Serbian Government to clearly condemn the statements of both the minister and his media advisor Petar Lazovic. The Association also called on all professional journalism associations at home and abroad, free media organisations, all political parties, together with the Serbian Parliament and Government to stand behind journalists and make it possible for them to work normally. In a statement, the Association described the attacks as the most extraordinary public vulgarity and serious
threats.

Chairman of the ANEM Managing Board Slobodan Stojsic said the atmosphere of lynching has been created, in which everything was allowed, from gender-based insults to death threats.

"I hope the Serbian Government and its president would respond to this and would demand Ilic's dismissal. Their failure to respond will be a clear message that they accept and support this kind of communication with the media", said Stojsic.

President of the Association of Serbian Journalists (JAS) Nino Brajovic said that he expected only apologies and not explanations after such Ilic's behavior.

"Capital Investments Minister is a member of the important bodies of
authority and must represent the state, not only his political party. Does this mean that if a citizen or a journalist puts a provocative question, he would be submitted to a psychiatric treatment?, The minimum we expect after this incident is an apology to all journalists and the Serbian public."

Editor of TV Production VIN Gordana Susa said it would be legitimate to demand Ilic's dismissal after these incidents.

"Velimir Ilic could not practice politics in a normal country unless he
finished some sort of course for good behavior. However, he just speaks out loud what Kostunica's government systematically does, and by that I mean the constant amnesty of Milosevic, his family, associates and all their ill-doings. It is the most direct attack on the dignity of a million Serbian citizens who brought down Milosevic, as a symbol of evil, from the power."


MORE DEMANDS FOR ILIC'S DISMISSAL

BELGRADE, August 16, 2005 (Danas) - Petar Lazovic's outburst is a
professional deformity.  As a person in charge of public relations, Lazovic should balance between the client and the media, to be "the buffer-man" and to cool down the situation. Instead of all this, we saw the reactions of two like-minded", said Cvijetin Milivojevic to the Belgrade daily Danas.

Cvijetin Milivojevic noted that "the profession of PR in Serbia is in the
phase of simple accumulation of capital" and that "the politicians treat the media as their crutches".

"Politicians in Serbia do not have manners for the media and see them as black or white: you are either with me or you are against me. Minister Ilic is not the only one who communicates in such manner. He simply has this 'gift' and I think he could be educated. But, what concerns more is the behavior of Petar Lazovic, who was the unofficial PR of Milan Panic and DOS and who was hosting the first news bulletins on the liberated state television from Kosutnjak after October 5, 2000."

Milivojevic adds that it is rather hard to find people in this country who
can communicate in a civil manner with the media with different editorial concepts. This is also a problem to Velimir Ilic, as well as to Nenad Canak, Cedomir Jovanovic and Vladan Batic, for example, who find it "unsuitable to speak at TV Pink".

Milivojevic also points out "the amiable relationship" of the ruling power with the journalists who used to insult them. Kostunica, for example, has the best relationship with the journalists of the Belgrade daily Politika, who once reported that he lived with 40 cats or that he had problems of various nature", said the director of Pragma.

Milan St. Protic, formerly close Ilic's associate and co-president of the
New Serbia political party, but today the president of Political Council of the Serbian Democratic Christian Party (DHSS), said that "Ilic obviously changed his position from the one before October 5". Protic noted that Ilic was inclined to such behavior in the past, adding that it was a part of our folklore:

"Such behavior is a reflection of primitivism, vulgarity and aggression,
but, unlike others, Ilic does not hesitate to demonstrate it publicly."

However, Protic noted that it would be a big mistake to concentrate now to Ilic's vulgarity instead of the essence of the problem, that is, the withdrawal of charges against Marko Milosevic.

"I understand the B92 journalists, but this Marko Milosevic case only
illustrates the regression to the times before October 5. It is absurd that some of the people, who were leading the movement against Milosevic, are now supporting it", said Protic.

Protic also thinks Vojislav Kostunica is behind all this.


PETAR LAZOVIC GETS SUED

BELGRADE, August 17, 2005 (B92) - B92 director and Editor-in-Chief Veran Matic has laid a criminal complaint against Petar Lazovic.

The complaint against Lazovic, media advisor to Capital Investment Minister Velimir Iic, alleges the criminal acts of insult, libel and endangering safety. It follows threats and insults from Lazovic before, during and after a press conference in Kopaonik on Monday.

Matic and other B92 journalists have been subjected to a series of death threats, insults and libel during this year.

Although Ilic's spin doctor Petar Lazovic denied the death threats to B92 director Veran Matic, B92 journalist Ana Veljkovic described Lazovic's actions a bit differently:

"When Velimir Ilic left, and cameras were switched off, Lazovic approached me and told me that I should be ashamed of asking such questions on withdrawal of charges against Marko Milosevic. He then yelled to my face, swore at me and Veran Matic, telling me to pass on a message that he would kill Matic."

Journalists from other media present at the press conference had confirmed Veljkovic's story. Valentina Nesic, Beta News Agency journalist, witnessed Ilic's outburst.

"After the conference was over, Ilic's media advisor Petar Lazovic started insulting journalists from RTV B92. He also threatened that he would kill the editor Veran Matic."

At the same time, capital investment minister Velimir Ilic continued attacks on journalists of RTV B92 during his current tour of Serbia. Appearing as a
guest on TV M in Mladenovac two days ago, Ilic accused the company of improper use of donors' funds.

"B92 has received twenty million dollars, I know this well, for the
development of free media in Serbia. It was the greatest robbery which has happened and they've made themselves exceptionally wealthy and conducted a complete anti-Serb campaign. I am inviting Veran Matic, the director of B92,
to a television debate. I want to talk to with him because I was involved in setting up the television, since I was president of the Association of Free Cities of Serbia and I was a witness to Veran Matic receiving the money, what he did with the donations, what he took, in what way, who took it, what Bodo Hombach did, all of it. We gave them everything. They have no license, nothing, but they operate, they function, they sting like hornets. They attack every government, anything that smells of Serbia. Look, they've got a place for Vuco and Kandic and every Tom, Dick and Harry, but anyone who has
any kind of national policies can't get near them", said Ilic.

According to some ministers, the next parliamentary session will be
dedicated to discussion on behavior of minister Ilic and his media advisor Lazovic.

G 17 Plus and Serbian Renewal Movement will seek discussion of Ilic's public statements at the session. Although Serbia's culture and information minister Dragan Kojadinovic said that the ministers from his political party would raise the issue of Ilic's behavior, he could not precise whether the dismissal of the capital investment minister could be expected.

"Nothing can justify such behavior. However, I am not the one to decide whether it is for exclusion from the government or some other rigid warning notice."

Prime Minister Vojislav Kostunica is yet to comment on behavior of the Cabinet member Velimir Ilic. The analysts note that the dismissal of Ilic is less possible, since it would provoke the crackdown of the Serbian Government, which is not in the interest of either ruling coalition party.

Journalist of the Belgrade weekly Vreme Teofil Pancic noted that only joined media would be able to do something regarding Velimir Ilic's case.


FALSE BOMB THREAT IN DAILY DANAS

BELGRADE, August 17, 2005 (B92) - Grujica Spasovic, editor-in-chief of the
Belgrade daily Danas, said that the special police units determined that the
bomb threat in the daily was false.

Grujica Spasovic said that the newsroom resumed the daily routine after
15.20. Spasovic also expressed hope that the police had done its job, since
it was not the first, nor it would be the last threat to the daily.

An unidentified person had called the daily around 14.00 hours and briefly
informed the staffers of having only thirty minutes to leave the building
before it exploded.


RADIO TELEVISION SUBSCRIPTION TO BE 210 DINARS

BELGRADE, August 17, 2005 (Beta) - The Broadcast Agency Council chairman
Nenad Cekic said that under the new amendments to the Broadcast Act, the
proposed monthly subscription rate for the Radio Television Serbia would be
210 dinars (about 0.25 euros)

Council chairman Nenad Cekic told the state media that the competition for
appointment of new RTS Managing Board would be conducted by mid October,
adding that the deadline for privatisation of RTS into a public service
broadcaster would expire on March 31, 2006.

According to Cekic, agreement has been reached to collect the subscription
with power bills, and payments will begin when controversial draft
amendments to the Act are adopted. This, he said, would be next week.

Cekic also said that "none from the RTS management has the secured position
and that everyone must go through the process of competition". He however
expressed hope that the transformation of RTS, which envisaged the division
of the company into two separate public service broadcasters - for Serbia
and Vojvodina, would be concluded by the end of next year.

Cekic reminded that there were 755 broadcasters in Serbia, "with real needs
only for 370". Their number would be therefore cut in half. Among the
stations that would not get the license for broadcast would be the ones
founded by the municipalities. He said that the Broadcast Act was not
implemented because "the regulation of the broadcast sphere does not suit
many broadcasters in Serbia, since they would be obliged to pay for the
frequency and to respect the copyrights". Cekic added that the proposed
changes "not only have an effect on the core of the legislation, but also
enable its implementation".

According to the chairman of the Council, the public service broadcaster
needs to be established by the law.

"Either RTS will be transformed into a public service, or it will no longer
exist. No one has the right to take over the responsibilities of the public
service", said Cekic, adding that the transformation of the company would
last between three and six months.

Cekic pointed out that "the public service is regarded same as education and
health". The money from subscription could go directly to the media
institution, and then "there would be no possibility for any minister or the
entire government to say: Stop the subscription, they have aired something
yesterday!"

Cekic said the subscription was envisaged as a contribution for the public
assets, not as the aspect of someone providing the service, and someone
receiving it.


ILIC SORRY, SAYS BUBALO

BELGRADE, August 18, 2005 (B92) - Serbia's minister for the economy Predrag
Bubalo said that capital investment minister Velimir Ilic was sorry if he
had insulted a B92 journalist with his comments this week on Kopaonik.

Economy Minister Predrag Bubalo said that capital investment minister had
informed his Cabinet colleagues with the events on Kopaonik and expressed
regret for the incidents before the beginning of yesterday's Cabinet
meeting.

He claimed that Ilic had issued a statement in which, among other things, he
said that he had not intended to insult journalists.

That statement has not been received by B92.

Minister Ilic was not present at the press conference held today to give a
public statement regarding recent insults. Instead of this, his apology was
read by his colleagues, expressing the disagreement with his behavior:

"More importantly, all Cabinet members expressed their regret for such
minister's behavior. The politicians can sometimes go too far, but one is
for sure - this will never happen again", Bubalo stated, provoking the
laughter in the room.

Interior Minister Dragan Jocic took a cautious line on the incident
yesterday:

"Politician must understand that journalists, in their search for the truth,
often ask provocative questions and politicians often have no understanding
of this, but journalists must not go too far with this," he said.

Capital investment minister Velimir Ilic refused at the Cabinet meeting to
publicly apologize to B92 journalists, Belgrade daily Blic reported on
Monday.


THREAT - A MESSAGE TO ALL JOURNALISTS

BELGRADE, August 18, 2005 (B92) - Media organisation Reporters Without
Borders voiced dismay at the insulting comments which Serbian investment
minister Velimir Ilic made to journalists of RTV B92 at a press conference
on 15 August.

"We are appalled at the way the minister and his aide insulted and
threatened journalists in public," the press freedom organisation said. "If
politicians react like this to questions they do not want to answer, it
shows how fragile press freedom is in Serbia-Montenegro."

Alex Lupis, the senior coordinator of European programs in the New
York-based Committee for the Protection of Journalists, had told the Voice
of America that Minister Ilic's treats to a B92 journalist are something
which above all should be dealt with under the law.

"I think that a situation in which a government official threatens a
journalist with death should first of all be a matter for the police and the
judiciary. Then I would add that the way in which these services react in
such a case will show how much the current government is really committed to
free media in Serbia. But unfortunately, since Kostunica has headed the
government there has been less and less respect for the media and much less
consideration of them", said Lupis.

"The Serbian government generally reacts negatively to attempts by the media
to research the origins of crime during the conflicts of the 1990s, and
similarly in cases of government corruption", he added.

"It is well known that Kostunica's government cooperates closely with the
Socialist Party of Serbia which, as everyone knows, was responsible for
media repression in the nineties. I think that there is a quite justifiable
concern that the government, which doesn't care much for the protection of
human rights, could attack the media even more. I believe that the threats
of Minister Ilic confirm that", Lupis said.

According to Lupis, Ilic's threats are a message for all journalists in
Serbia.

"I think this sends a very powerful message to media that the government
willhit back sharply if any journalist tries to investigate sensitive
political issues such as corruption, criminals and breaches of human rights,
all these deviant phenomena remain hidden and unresolved. In these
conditions, society stagnates and cannot develop either politically or
economically. I think that this is not in Serbia's best interests."

The commitment of the government to further democratic reforms is also
questioned:

"The pressure on the media is opposed to the goals of the democratic
community. All of this, in fact, leads to questioning the commitment of the
Serbian Government to democratic reform. It raises the question of whether
Serbia, if it continues with such policies, will be able to take its place
in the European Union", said the European head of the Committee to Protect
Journalists.


SEEMO PROTESTS ILIC'S BEHAVIOR

VIENNA, August 19, 2005 (B92) - The Vienna-based South East Europe Media
Organisation (SEEMO), a network of editors, media executives and leading
journalists in South East Europe and an affiliate of the International Press
Institute (IPI), is alarmed about the recent insults and threats by a
high-ranking Serbian politician and his advisor directed at journalists.

According to information before SEEMO, on 15 August, during a press
conference in Kopaonik, Serbian Capital Investments Minister Velimir Ilic
was answering questions about the court case against Marko Milosevic, son of
former Yugoslav President Slobodan Milosevic. Taking exception to the
questions asked by the RTV B92 reporter, Ana Veljkovic, he started insulting
the station's journalists and said they were sick and needed psychiatric
treatment.

According to Veljkovic, after Ilic left the conference, his media advisor,
Petar Lazovic, approached her and started insulting her. He told her to tell
Veran Matic, director and editor-in-chief of RTV B92, that he would kill
him.

SEEMO regards these insults and threats as a very serious and direct
violation of press freedom and journalists' rights. We ask the authorities
in Serbia to start an investigation into this case and to take all necessary
legal steps.

SEEMO would like to remind the Serbian government that a safe working
environment for journalists is a fundamental principle in every democratic
society.

American expert for the Balkans from the US Institute of Peace Daniel Serwer
told The Voice of America that Velimir Ilic' behavior needs to be seen in a
broader context.

"This goes beyond an ordinary incident. I think that really it's about the
future of Serbia and the way in which it will resolve the remaining criminal
activity from the past, because this incident didn't come out of the blue,
but because of Marko Milosevic and the charges raised against him", he said.

"Because of this, I believe that this is not about some obvious incident and
unacceptable remarks made by one minister to a journalist, but about how
Serbia relates to unacceptable events in the past. Obviously there are
people who are not pleased that B92 is trying, in an open and honest way, to
throw light on criminal activities and because it advocates those
responsible being brought to justice. I would say that a pretty large number
of the members of the current Serbian Cabinet don't want this kind of
journalism", said Serwer.

Serwer believes that the latest incident should not cause alarm among
Serbian journalists.

"I know a sufficient number of courageous journalists in Serbia who will
respond to this by being even more determined to uncover the truth. I would
even say that the reason many officials restrain themselves from attacks is
that they would only become an even bigger target of journalists'
investigations", he added.


SUBSCRIPTION THROUGH POWER BILLS

BELGRADE, August 21, 2005 (Beta) - The Electric Power Industry of Serbia
(EPS) will have to comply with the decision to charge the RTS subscription
through electricity bills.

Radio Television Serbia will first send out the announcement to the future
subscribers in September and will start to charge for the subscription one
month later, in October, said the vice-chairman of the Broadcast Agency
Council Aleksandar Vasic. By that time, the agreement on ways of charging
the subscription should be reached.

Although the EPS has officially opposed to subscription charge through their
bills, Vasic said that EPS is "a public company, not non-governmental
organisation", and that they would have to comply with the decisions of the
appropriate authorities and envisaged by the law.

Vasic also said that the recent monitoring of the aired advertisements on
RTS showed that the regulations on the length of commercials were respected.

Under the regulations of the Broadcast Act, the public broadcasters, radio
and TV stations from the civil sector and those founded by the local and
regional communities cannot broadcast commercials longer than ten percent of
the total daily broadcast program, that is, maximum of six minutes per hour
of the broadcast program.


ILIC ATTACKS B92 AGAIN

BELGRADE, August 21, 2005 (B92) - B92 has managed to obtain an audio
recording of an interview given by Velimir Ilic to Kragujevac TV K9 on
August 18 in which he again insulted B92 journalists, just hours after an
apology to the station was read in the Cabinet.

The interview, which the station did not broadcast, allegedly because the
tape was destroyed, said that B92 was not working legally and that it was
involved in financial misconduct.

"Of course, if this ticklish issue is raised in public, then they attack you
like dogs. And everyone attacks you and then they are ordered to provoke you
and if you now say anything they will accuse you of being a friend of Marko
Milosevic, of influencing. What connection do I have with Marko; I've never
laid eyes on the man. And something else, this boy from Pozarevac, he
withdrew his statement ten months ago, not recently, but now that is being
abused as well. Another thing, that boy is a close relative of mine. His
mother and my late mother were the children of two sisters. And now here was
an opportunity, get that Ilic, now we'll sort him out, we'll attack him: so
there he builds a hundred kilometers of road, he does this, he does that,
now we'll sort him out, we can involve him in some issue and so on.", said
Ilic in the interview.

B92 noted that Zoran Milovanovic did not withdraw his allegations that Marko
Milosevic threatened him with a chainsaw nine months ago as claimed by Ilic,
but one month ago.

The minister himself recently claimed to have influenced him to change his
statement.

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RIJEKA - Gospiæka afera »Mraoviæ« kao da nema kraja - amerièka košarkašica Ilisha Jarett prošlog je tjedna i privatno tužila lièkog tajkuna Josu Mraoviæa tvrdeæi da je nanovo teško oklevetana i traži od okrivljenog 700.000 dolara odštete zbog povrede ugleda i dostojanstva. Posljedice su to poznate afere silovanja, meðutim ovo je nova optužba protiv Mraoviæa za nedavne klevete iznesene u novinama.
Optuženi æe sada osim za silovanje amerièke košarkašice morati odgovarati i za teške optužbe izreèene u tekstu koji je 14. srpnja objavljen u »Hrvatskom listu«. Tužiteljica navodi da je pretrpjela užasnu i nepopravljivu sramotu zbog sljedeæe Mraoviæeve izjave: »Uostalom da sam i htio s Ilishom spavati ne bih je trebao napasti jer se zna da je nju mogao imati tko god je htio. To uopæe nije tajna i to æe vam svatko u Gospiæu potvrditi. Pa nju je mogao imati svatko.«
Dragan Jovaniæ, odvjetnik Ilishe Jarett kaže da je njegova klijentica bila zgrožena takvim primitivnim i užasnim klevetama te da te izjave izlaze izvan kulturnog i civilizacijskog ponašanja pa im nije preostalo ništa drugo nego da na sudu potraže zadovoljštinu. Tužba je podnesena Opæinskom sudu u Gospiæu prošli tjedan, a u njoj se obrazlaže da je tužiteljica pretrpjela strašan šok, jake duševne boli i intenzivan strah za svoju buduænost te da joj je ugrožena karijera. Košarkašica tvrdi da joj je Mraoviæevim užasnim lažima srušeno sve što je mukotrpno godinama stvarala. Zbog toga ne može ni igrati, pa je za ovu godinu, a vjerojatno i dulje, otkazala sve svoje profesionalne košarkaške angažmane u Europi.
Osim Mraoviæa tužen je i izdavaè »Hrvatskog lista«, tvrtka Dogma press d.o.o. iz Zadra. U obrazloženju se kaže da je izdavaè postupio suprotno odredbama Zakona o medijima jer je u javnost plasirao Mraoviæeve izjave bez provjeravanja. Amerièka košarkašica istièe da su posljedice tih kleveta još i teže jer su se proširile i na drugi kontinent. Naime, »Hrvatski list« se distribuira meðu hrvatskom dijasporom u SAD-u te su se te neistine brzo proèule i meðu njenim sugraðanima, pa je neugodnim pitanjima i sumnjièenjima podvrgnuta i njezina obitelj.
Sud æe odluèiti ima li osnove za ogromnu novèanu odštetu. Posebno æe biti zanimljivo èuti kako æe se Mraoviæ braniti i dokazati svoje izjave i teške optužbe. Poznat je po tome da je u stanju svašta izreæi, meðutim, sada bi ga to moglo skupo koštati. I u kaznenom postupku svojim je »dugim jezikom« otežao situaciju i braniteljima kad je istražiteljima tvrdio da nije bio u kontaktu sa žrtvom niti ušao u njenu sobu, a poslije je novinarima na konferenciji koju je sam sazvao rekao da je žrtvu možda samo poljubio. Zanimljivo je da je zbog klevete nedavno Mraoviæ tužio više novina i tražio odštetu u milijunskim iznosima. Ico MIKULIÈIÆ

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H.E. Vojislav Kostunica

Prime Minister of the Republic of Serbia

Belgrade, Serbia and Montenegro

Fax: +381 11 3617 609

 

H.E. Zoran Stojkovic

Minister of Justice of the Republic of Serbia

Belgrade, Serbia and Montenegro

Fax: +381 11 3616 419; 685 672


Vienna, 19 August 2005

Your Excellencies,

 

The Vienna-based South East Europe Media Organisation (SEEMO), a network of editors, media executives and leading journalists in South East Europe and an affiliate of the International Press Institute (IPI), is alarmed about the recent insults and threats by a high-ranking Serbian politician and his advisor directed at journalists.


According to information before SEEMO, on 15 August, during a press
conference in Kopaonik, Serbian Capital Investments Minister Velimir Ilic was answering questions about the court case against Marko Milosevic, son of former Yugoslav President Slobodan Milosevic. Taking exception to the questions asked by the RTV B92 reporter, Ana Veljkovic, he started insulting the station's journalists and said they were sick and needed psychiatric treatment.

According to Veljkovic, after Ilic left the conference, his media advisor,
Petar Lazovic, approached her and started insulting her. He told her to tell Veran Matic, director and editor-in-chief of RTV B92, that he would kill him.

SEEMO regards these insults and threats as a very serious and direct
violation of press freedom and journalists' rights. We ask Your Excellencies to start an investigation into this case and to take all necessary legal steps.

We would like to remind Your Excellencies that a safe working environment
for journalists is a fundamental principle in every democratic society.

We thank you for your attention.

Yours sincerely,
Oliver Vujovic
SEEMO Secretary General

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The International Federation of Journalists andits regional organization the European Federation of Journalists today gavetheir full backing to around 5,500 journalists and media staff locked out by theCanadian Broadcasting Corporation (CBC) and has condemned the company’s use ofglobal media networks – such as the BBC’s World Service Radio programmes – tofill gaps in its schedules.
The IFJ and the EFJ have called on the EuropeanBroadcasting Union, which groups together some of the world’s largest publicbroadcasters, to ensure that none of its members do anything to assist theCanadian public broadcaster which shut out its union staff on August 15talks on a new contract over the broadcaster's demand forthe unfettered right to hire contract and part-time workers to take jobs nowfilled by staff employees.
With everyone from journalists to technicians off the job,most of the original programming and news in particular, has ground to a haltwith the radio and TV airwaves filled with repeats and importedcontent.Thebroadcaster is using scarce management resources to supply newscasts to AirCanada, but relyingheavily onforeign news reports from the BBC for televisionnews.
“The use of one public broadcaster’s output toassist an attack by another on the careers and working conditions of its staffis strikebreaking of the worst kind,” saidAidan White, IFJ and EFJ GeneralSecretary. “The company should get back to the negotiating table and notcompromise the reputation of international public broadcasters by using them tofill the holes caused by their own belligerent attitudes tostaff.”
The IFJ and the EFJ have writtento the EBU, saying the use of the BBC and perhaps other broadcasters, such asthe English language service of German network Deutsche Welle, puts at risk thereputation of public broadcasters.
“Public broadcasters must notallow themselves to be used in national disputes,” wroteAidan Whitein a letter to Jean Réveillon, GeneralSecretary of the EBU. “When the work of one broadcaster is used to assistanother in their action against the workforce it is inevitably perceived asunacceptable interference and strike-breaking.”
The IFJ and the EFJ have alsoasked all their members, and in particular the National Union of Journalists inGreat Britain and Ireland and its affiliates in Germany, to work together withits Canadian member, the Canadian Media Guild (TNG/CWA), to prevent broadcastsfrom global networks being used to make up for missing local content.
Canadian Media Guild (CMG)negotiator and IFJ Executive Committee member, Arnold Amber said there are notalks underway. He said that a proposal to both parties by two federal mediatorson Tuesday to break the deadlock was rejected by management. “On behalf of our5,500 members, we strongly protest the position that the resumption ofnegotiations should be put off,” said Amber.
Last week, union leaders noted that the CBCbargaining committee had said it would not compromise. The CMG said that“management refuses to move from its position to permit entire classificationsof employees to be hired on short-term contracts. And it now refuses to bargainuntil the Guild agrees to that position — something the Guild has saidrepeatedly it will not do.
Both the IFJ’sUSaffiliates, the Newspaper Guild/CWA and AFTRA, the performers and news union,backed the Media Guild and instructed its own members not to do any work thatwould undermine the CBC staff position.
The IFJ is calling on all of itsaffiliates around the world to back the workforce at the CBC. “This dispute getsto the heart of the fight for public service values in broadcasting,” saidWhite. “The prioritiesof the CBC management show little respect for professionalism and social justicein the workplace. It appears to favour a commitment to commercial interestsrather than quality. A return to dialogue and meaningful negotiations isurgently needed.”

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Tragom vijesti o proširenju tužbe podignute od RTL-a protiv HTV-a zbog kršenja odredbi o vremenskom ogranièenju televizijskog oglašavanja promidžbenog programa, informacije dobivene na našoj najmlaðoj komercijalnoj televiziji odluèili smo provjeriti na HTV-u. Podsjetimo, RTL Televizija potkraj prošloga mjeseca javno je prozvala HTV zbog kršenja Zakona o HRT-u i Zakona o elektronièkim medijima te je tako “u proteklih šest mjeseci HTV navedene zakone prekršila gotovo 600 puta i samo u travnju, svibnju i lipnju emitirala èak 13 tisuæa sekundi iznad zakonskog limita, èime je utržila dodatnih 13,3 milijuna kuna”.
- Optužbe o kojima ste pisali u prošli èetvrtak nisu nove, pojavile su se prije dosta vremena, a svako malo se ponovno javljaju s kakvim novim detaljem ili, uvjetno reèeno, argumentom - komentira predstavnik HRT-a za odnose s javnošæu Janos Roemer.
- Sve to vrijeme na HRT-u nismo smatrali potrebnim odgovarati onome tko ih plasira jer - i sami ste zasigurno primijetili - rijeè je o direktno zainteresiranoj strani, odnosno o direktnoj konkurenciji koja samim tim svojim položajem nije mjerodavna za nezavisnu analizu ili ocjenu. Ne znam postoji li igdje u svijetu primjer u kojem jedan konkurent kontrolira poslovanje drugoga pa tako niti nama na HRT-u ne bi palo na pamet provjeravati pridržava li se RTL obveza iz svoga koncesijskog ugovora jer za takvu kontrolu postoje zakonom propisana mjerodavna tijela. Donedavno niti jedno mjerodavno tijelo, zakonima ovlašteno za takve kontrole, nije imalo primjedbi te vrste; tek je na posljednjoj sjednici Programskog vijeæa HRT-a zaprimljen zahtjev Vijeæa za elektronièke medije da se provjeri ima li kakvih problema s HRT-ovim marketingom i Programsko je vijeæe za iduæu sjednicu, koja æe se održati neposredno nakon ljetne stanke, od HRT-ova odjela marketinga zatražilo detaljan izvještaj o tome.
Roemer dodaje kako je Vijeæe za elektronièke medije raspisalo natjeèaj za tvrtku koja æe za to Vijeæe - dakle, za nezavisno tijelo - mjeriti marketinško vrijeme na svim hrvatskim televizijskim programima. Takvu kontrolu na našoj su javnoj televiziji spremni pozdraviti te podsjeæaju da su se na nju veæ i u nekoliko navrata javno pozivali. Upravo takav stav, smatraju, dokazuje da nemaju što skrivati jer se tek takva kontrola može smatrati nezavisnom i objektivnom. Dakle, ona koju ne naruèuje niti jedna kontrolirana strana.
- Hrvatska radiotelevizija svoje poslovanje temelji na zakonima i posluje zakonito. Treba prièekati spomenuti izvještaj koji je Programsko vijeæe na svojoj zadnjoj sjednici zatražilo od odjela marketinga, reagirajuæi na dopis Vijeæa za elektronièke medije, ali veæ se na toj sjednici moglo èuti da, osim u nekoliko sluèajeva koje nismo skrivali i koji nisu bili rezultat namjere nego niza okolnosti, HRT naèelno nije emitirao više reklama od onog što mu je zakonom dopušteno te mu toliko prihodi od marketinga niti nisu veæi nego što smiju biti. Pritom treba svakako istaknuti da je Zakon o Hrvatskoj radioteleviziji u potpunosti usklaðen s europskim standardima. Dapaèe, prema dokumentima Vijeæa Europe mjerodavnima za tu problematiku - koje je potpisala i u svoje zakonodavstvo ugradila i Republika Hrvatska - postoji prostora da se HRT-u odobri i dodatno vrijeme za reklame, a nije nevažno niti to da je isti zakon vrijedio i u trenutku kad je, primjerice, RTL odluèivao da æe se natjecati za koncesiju u Hrvatskoj. Od poèetka su se, dakle, znala pravila igre, ona nisu mijenjana i èini mi se da se pravi razlozi za ovakve postupke ne mogu tražiti niti u “lošem zakonu”, niti u neèijem njegovom “nepridržavanju” nego u posve drugim interesima i motivima.
No, znaèi li to da HTV ispunjava odredbe javne televizije, odredbe koje su puno šire od funkcije komercijalnih televizija, a zadatak im je prvenstveno educirati javnost? Naime, oštrica upuæena s RTL-a zadire upravo u program HTV-a koji nazivaju - komercijalnim.
- Odgovor na pitanje u kojoj mjeri HRT ispunjava zadaæe javne televizije treba tražiti u sustavu kontrole njegova djelovanja - istièe Roemer.
- Kao što znate, za zastupanje interesa javnosti nadzorom i unapreðenjem HRT-ovih radijskih i televizijskih programa - a ovdje usput spominjem da je rijeè o više od 100.000 minuta programa koje emitiramo tjedno i tu brojku treba imati na umu kad se ocjenjuje ozbiljnost pojedinih propusta - zaduženo je Programsko vijeæe HRT-a, èije èlanove imenuje Hrvatski sabor i upravo je u tijeku postupak imenovanja novih èlanova umjesto onih kojima uskoro istjeèe mandat. Na temelju HRT-ovih zakonskih obveza prema hrvatskoj javnosti, Programsko vijeæe procjenjuje programsku orijentaciju i usmjeruje poslovodstvo HRT-a prema što kvalitetnijem ispunjavanju javne zadaæe. Vjerujem da ste i sami primijetili kako su u programskoj shemi koja je za nama - dakako, detalje nove sheme koju pripremamo za jesen još ne smijem otkrivati! - ispravljene i mnoge primjedbe koje je javnost na HRT-ov program imala u ranijem razdoblju. Ovdje dolazimo do još jedne važne èinjenice: u javne obveze koje prema javnosti zemlje u kojoj djeluje ima svaki javni elekronièki medij, pripadaju i sadržaji za koje komercijalni programi ponekad brzopleto ocjenjuju da na njih imaju ekskluzivno pravo. Tako navodi da nema sumnje kako je u interesu javnosti, a tako je i zakonom propisano, da program javnog elektronièkog medija ukljuèuje i zabavne sadržaje, sportski i strani (filmski, serijski) program. Mnoge sadržaje koje bi se olako moglo proglasiti iskljuèivo komercijalnima poput Milijunaša, Najslabije karike ili Uzmi ili ostavi, na HTV-u ne smatraju samo komercijalnima, ili barem ne samo komercijalnima.
- Nema sumnje da gledanjem Milijunaša ili Najslabije karike nešto i nauèite a, primjerice, zabavnu igru Uzmi ili ostavi redovito emitira talijanska javna televizija. S druge strane, zbog cijene televizijske proizvodnje èinjenica je i da javni programi ne mogu opstati bez odgovarajuæeg udjela komercijalnog sadržaja. To je opæi europski stav koji takoðer proizlazi iz spomenutog dokumenta Vijeæa Europe. Pozivanje na BBC kao suprotni primjer irelevantno je ako se sjetite kolika je BBC-jeva RTV pristojba, koliko Velika Britanija ima stanovnika i, uostalom, problema s kojima se BBC u posljednje vrijeme susreæe.
U ovom kontekstu, dakle u kontekstu marketinškog vremena ili usklaðenosti s europskim standardima, na javnoj televiziji smatraju kako Zakon o HRT-u nije potrebno mijenjati.
- Zakonodavac se, dakako, može odluèiti i za neke promjene, ali pritom treba voditi raèuna da se ne ugrožava dosegnuta nezavisnost i stabilnost javnog elektronièkog medija kao jednog od važnih elemenata demokratiènosti društva. Dovoðenje financijske nezavisnosti u pitanje direktno bi utjecalo i na onu drugu nezavisnost koju javni medij mora imati kako bi bio u službi javnosti - pojašnjava Roemer.
Što se pitanja arhiva HRT-a tièe, a za kojeg s RTL-a poruèuju kako bi trebao biti u kategoriji javnog dobra te da odreðenu snimku svatko po odreðenoj cijeni može kupiti, s HRT-a poruèuju kako ga ni u kojem sluèaju ne misle uskraæivati.
- Naš arhiv ponuðen je i RTL-u uz cijene koje odgovaraju RTL-ovoj komercijalnoj upotrebi i koje su, kako mi je potvrðeno i na nedavnoj skupštini EBU-a održanoj u Dubrovniku, usklaðene s uobièajenim tržišnim cijenama za takvu uslugu. Takvom se ponudom ne radi nikakva šteta hrvatskoj javnosti, dapaèe, i taj se HRT-ov prihod - kako to zakon propisuje - koristi za unapreðenje HRT-ovog, dakle javnog programa.
Na posljetku, Roemer napominje i to da pravna služba Hrvatske radiotelevizije nije zaprimila nikakav službeni dopis mjerodavnog tijela o (sudskoj) tužbi koju na RTL-u spominju.
- Uostalom, kad je rijeè o tužbi, njezina najava me poziva na oprez u javnom iznošenju konkretnih argumenata koji bi se koristili za odbacivanje konkretnih optužbi, pa predlažem da s te strane zatražite informaciju što se zapravo zbiva - zakljuèuje.        Vladimira PALEÈEK

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Iraqi Media Leaders Demand Democracy and FreeExpression Rights in Constitution

More than 40 leaders of Iraqi journalism –editors, union leaders, university lecturers and other media experts – havecalled for action to strengthen free expression and democratic rights in thestalled talks over a new constitution.

At a conference today in the JordaniancapitalAmman, media professionals agreed acharter of basic rights for a democratic media culture inIraq, anddemanded that legislators working on a draft of a new constitution make aserious commitment to free expression rights and free journalism.

The constitution should make "a clearand frank reference to the important role of the media and the need to guaranteefreedom of expression and the rights of journalists to work withoutinterference," said participants at the conference organised by theInternational Federation of Journalists with the support of UNESCO, the UnitedNations cultural agency.

Theconference declaration reflects growing concern among journalists that promisesof democratic reform are threatened by deadlock in negotiations over a newconstitution, in which the rights of women and regional autonomy are majorpoints of disagreement. The text will be submitted to the people in a nationalreferendum later this year.

"The stateshould protect free expression, guarantee the freedom of journalists andjournalism within the media, and pursue all violators of these rights," said thejournalists who called on the authorities "to guarantee independence of allmedia including non-governmental, public service media, financed by publicmoney."

Theconference said that media should reflect pluralism of thought, politics,ethnicity, religion and culture. "Reference in the constitution to freeexpression is worthless if the state does not provide the means to protect andenforce this right," said the participants, "particularly at a time whenIraqis the most dangerous country inthe world for journalists and media staff and where dozens have been killed orkidnapped."

Leaders fromall Iraq's journalists' groups as well as leading editors and leaders of a newunion of radio stations, the first media employers' group set up in the country,were joined by media experts, journalism trainers and trades unionists fromabroad for the three-day conference which agreed a wide-ranging programme ofaction and adopted a charter of rights for democratic media.

"Thisconference is proof that violence and extremism have not killed off the spiritof independence in Iraqi journalism," said Aidan White, IFJ General Secretary,who chaired the meeting. "Democracy will not work without free media and thenetwork of solidarity launched here, which includes journalists from allsections of Iraqi society, shows that media professionals will fight for theirrights every step of the way."

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IFJ Warns of  “Information Blackout” Following Kidnapping of France3 Media Staffer inGaza
The International Federationof Journalists today warned of a potential information blackout in theGaza Stripfollowing the kidnapping of amedia staffer working for France 3 Television.
Yesterday, 47-year-oldMohammad Wadohi, an Algerian Muslim with French citizenship, working as asoundman for the French public service channel3, was kidnapped near his hotel inGazaCity.Three kidnappers armed with rifles threatened Ouathi,pulled him into a white Subaru and drove away to an unknown destination.
“This abduction of a foreign media staffer is adangerous precedent during the on-going evacuation of Israeli colonies,” saidAidan White, IFJ General Secretary. “It points to a clear and present questionof safety for all journalists attempting to report independently on this majorpolitical breakthrough”.
The kidnapping of foreign staff, journalists, UNhumanitarian aid workers and other internationals by armed people has developedas a growing phenomenon in the last two months inGaza. According to the Al-Mezan Human RightsCenter there have been up to 21 foreigners taken hostage since July this year.
The IFJ affiliate, the Palestinian Journalists Syndicate(PJS) denounced the kidnapping and called on the kidnappers to release himimmediately. The PJS condemned the hostage-taking as a “cowardly andirresponsible act”.
“With some 700 foreign journalists inGazaCityto cover Palestinian preparations forthe disengagement, a double-edged sword is now pointed at all media working inthe region,” said White. “Both Israeli restrictions on freedom of movement forlocal journalists and the potential for increased targeting of foreign reporterspave the way for a blackout in the strip”.
Earlier this month, gunmen abducted five foreign UnitedNations workers in two separate incidents in the Gaza Strip and last year,gunmen kidnapped Riad Ali, an Israeli-Arab producer for CNN. All were freedunharmed within hours.

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MATIC CLAIMS ILLEGAL WIRETAPPING

BELGRADE, August 8, 2005 (Beta) - Director of TV B92 Veran Matic said
yesterday that he had urged the authorities to investigate allegations of
illegal wiretapping.

Matic said that he decided to take actions after the claims of the Secretary
General of the Serbian Radical Party Aleksandar Vucic of possessing recorded
conversations of people from this television station.

As the Belgrade daily Srpski Nacional reported, Vucic stated that he had
records of people from B92 talking about not having any proof that could
incriminate Nikolic, but that the story should be pressed nevertheless.

Matic said that he had urged several institutions including the prosecution
to investigate these allegations of illegal wiretapping and possible
distribution of transcripts.

PRIVATISATION OF BROADCASTERS

BELGRADE, August 10, 2005 (Politika) - The draft amendments to the Broadcast
Act envisage the extension of deadline for privatisation of radio and TV
stations founded by local governments to the end of 2008.

The government explained that the current deadline, which expires in July
next year, have become unrealistic, adding that "for some reason, the
process of privatisation of these local media is back at square one".

The professional organisations believe that the proposed changes to the Act
would not only delay the regulation of chaos in the media sphere, but would
also imperil electronic media.

The Association of Independent Serbian Journalists (IJAS), the Association
of Independent Electronic Media (ANEM) and Media division of the Nezavisnost
Trade Union stated that the government would maintain control over the
broadcast field by postponing the privatisation of local electronic media.
The three organisations warned to the obvious intention of certain
politicians to use local stations as their mouthpiece.

Other media organisations as well warn that media should be freed from the
state interference and influence (except for the public service broadcaster)
since it is in opposition to the international standards.

NDNV OPPOSED NEW AMENDMENTS

NOVI SAD, August 10, 2005 (Danas) - The Association of Independent Vojvodina
Journalists (NDNV) protested over the draft amendments to the Broadcast Act,
noting that it was just another bad step which would only delay the long
awaited regulation of chaotic broadcasting sphere.

The proposed changes would postpone the transformation of RTV Novi Sad into
a provincial public service broadcaster one more time.

NDNV reminded that the balance between RTV Belgrade and RTV Novi Sad was
divided, which was just one of the reasons why the transformation of RTV
Novi Sad should not be further delayed.

NDNV also protested against the intention of the legislators to revoke the
power of veto of Vojvodina representative in the Broadcast Council,
stressing that it would deprive Vojvodina of any power in the Council.

The association stated that such intention only proved the government's lack
of understanding for the specific problems of the province as a multi-ethnic
environment.

The amendment which would extend the deadline for privatisation of local
media to the end of 2008 was also unacceptable, said in the statement of the
association. There is a reasonable doubt that the authorities want to use
media as their mouthpiece in pre-electoral and other campaigns, said in the
statement.

MINISTER ILIC: B92 A PSYCHIATRIC CASE

KOPAONIK, BELGRADE, August 15, 2005 (B92) - Capital Investments Minister
Velimir Ilic responded with his customary threats and obscenities today when
a B92 journalists attempted to ask him about his role in the withdrawal of
charges against Marko Milosevic, the son of former Yugoslav president
Slobodan Milosevic.

Speaking at a ground-breaking ceremony for a cable railway in the Kopaonik
Tourist Centre, Ilic said that he had spoken to the alleged victim of death
threats from the former president's son in an attempt to protect him from
the pressure to which he had been subjected in Pozarevac because of the
court proceedings against Marko Milosevic.

Zoran Milovanovic, who first accused Milosevic's junior of threatening him
with a chainsaw as well as striking him, then this month, suddenly changed
his statement, is a close relative of Minister Ilic.

The minister says that proceedings against Marko Milosevic which have not
been finalised after five years don't need to go any further.

"Marko Milosevic has done nothing illegal in his life, the only thing is he
struck Zoran Milovanovic. There's no point in commenting. At that time there
were violent murders of Badza, the army minister, the general director of
JAT and so to support a charge from Zoran Milovanovic, a boy who has nothing
to live on, this doesn't need to happen, if there's nothing else," said
Ilic.

Ilic took extreme exception to questions from B92 journalist Ana Veljkovic
about the Milosevic affair. At that point the minister's media advisor,
former state media journalist Petar Lazovic, stepped in and told Veljkovic
to send a message to RTV B92 Director Veran Matic that he would kill him.

A short time later, at a press conference, Lazovic denied the threat.

Lazovic: I told you to tell Veran Matic to go [obscenity deleted]?

B92: No, you said that as well. You said everything.

Ilic: We've come here for an important, a very serious investment. Ladies
and gentlemen from B92, wherever you go you make chaos.  Wherever you come
you practice provocation. You're sick, you need a psychiatric clinic, you
need to go for collective treatment. You tread treatment at Kopaonik, we'll
make a centre for you, to take care of you. I can promise you that, here
I'll promise you that your great professional, Veran Matic, making people
look like idiots in Serbia. I claim that openly. We've gathered here for a
serious matter. You're just talking about Marko Milosevic, forget Marko, why
is Marko so important in your life? Please, don't get in our way in this
serious work.

Following this outburst Minister Ilic then directed a personal attack on the
B92 journalist.

"You just talk, you're so aggressive, you're one of those that can't get
married. I worry about you. What will you do? No one will want you. Relax
here, enjoy and be nice with us," he said.

After Ilic's closure, the representatives of local community who were
following the conference loudly supported and applauded the Minister's
statement.

... više ...


Ponuda dnevnih listova danas je bogata: postoje i oni na veæem ili manjem formatu, šareniji i crno-bijeli, stariji i noviji, no samo je jedan dnevni list s kojim se poistovjeæuje polovica graðana Hrvatske, samo su jedne novine  Veèernjak.

Juèer smo proslavili izlazak 15.000. broja, a èestitke su od ranog jutra stizale sa svih strana. Èestitali su kolege iz drugih medija, sindikalci, udruge, poduzetnici, politièari, no najbitnije je da su zvali èitatelji. Javio se Ivan Ringl koji je veæ prvi broj, iz tadašnje tiskare u Masarykovoj, odnio svom ocu u brijaènicu.

Od tada mu nijedan dan nije prošao bez Veèernjeg lista, gotovo pola stoljeæa iz svojih omiljenih novina doznavao je za lijepe i ružne stvari koje su se dogaðale. Veèernjak gotovo pola stoljeæa postoji zbog njega i svih drugih vjernih èitatelja kojima dan poèinje novinama, èitali ih od prve ili zadnje stranice.

Najèitaniji list u Hrvatskoj obilježio je izlazak jubilarnog broja kako i prilièi  sveèano. Tortu s brojem 15.000 s pravom je razrezao i kolegama podijelio Milan Ivkošiæ, prvo pero i uzor mnogim mladim novinarima Veèernjeg lista.

No mnogi nisu bili prisutni na slavlju, otišli su po prièe za sljedeæi dan, prikupljali informacije, dovršavali tekstove... Novine se, bez obzira na sveèanost, i danas moraju pojaviti na kioscima. Proslava je zato za novinare bila kratka, krenulo se na stvaranje novog, 15.001., i onog sljedeæeg broja... dokle god nas vi, zbog kojih pišemo, budete željeli èitati.   Vojislav Mazzocco

... više ...


Newspaper censors article on Macedonian minority and language

SOURCE: Greek Helsinki Monitor (GHM), Athens

(GHM/IFEX) - GHM condemns the censorship by the Greek daily newspaper
"Makedonia" of an article on the banned Macedonian language in Greece that
was to be published on 14 August 2005, in the regular Sunday column of
writer Thanasis Triaridis.
 
The article, entitled "A short note on a banned language", summarised the
history and the reasons for the prohibition on speaking Macedonian in
Greece, as well as Greece's refusal to recognise national minorities, such
as the Macedonian and Turkish ones. The author concluded that it was  time
to lift the ban and teach the language with its songs and its literature at
the schools in the areas where the language is spoken. The article can be
found in Greek at the author's personal web site:
http://www.triaridis.gr/keimena/keimD046.htm

In a postscript, the author relates how "Makedonia" editor Christos Kapsalis
told him that his article could not be published "out of principle" and
asked for another article. The author refused such an arrangement and
informed the editor that he was putting an end to the 18-month collaboration
with the newspaper.

GHM considers this censorship a violation of freedom of expression,
symptomatic of the prevailing intolerance towards national minorities in
Greece, and especially the Macedonian minority. Such an attitude is
incompatible with the "state of law" that is supposed to prevail in Greece,
and was denounced in 2004 and 2005 by a number of international
organisations, which urged Greece to recognize its minorities and respect
their freedom of expression and association.

BACKGROUND:
In June 2004, the European Commission against Racism and Intolerance noted
that "persons wishing to express their Macedonian, Turkish or other identity
incur the hostility of the population. They are targets of prejudices and
stereotypes, and sometimes face discrimination" and "encouraged the Greek
authorities to take further steps toward the recognition of the freedom of
association and expression of members of the Macedonian and Turkish
communities living in Greece."
(http://www.coe.int/T/E/human_rights/Ecri/1-ECRI/2-Country-by-country_approa
ch/Greece/Greece_CBC_3.asp#TopOfPage).

In May 2004, the UN Committee on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights stated
that it was "concerned that there is only one officially recognized minority
in Greece, whereas there are other ethnic groups seeking that status,"
"regretted the lack of information on the measures taken by the State party
to preserve, protect and promote minority languages and cultures" and "urged
Greece to reconsider its position with regard to the recognition of other
ethnic, religious or linguistic minorities which may exist within its
territory, in accordance with recognized international standards, and
invited it to ratify the Council of Europe Framework Convention for the
Protection of National Minorities (1995)."
(http://www.unhchr.ch/tbs/doc.nsf/(Symbol)/E.C.12.1.Add.97.En?Opendocument)

Finally, in March 2005, the UN Human Rights Committee "noted with concern
the apparent unwillingness of the government to allow any private groups or
associations to use associational names that include the appellation Turk or
Macedonian, based upon Greece's assertion that there are no ethnic,
religious or linguistic minorities in Greece other than Muslims in Thrace.
The Committee noted that individuals belonging to such minorities have a
right under the Covenant to the enjoyment of their own culture, the
profession and practice of their own religion, and the use of their own
language in community with other members of their group (article 27)." The
Committee called on Greece to "review its practice in light of Article 27 of
the Covenant,"
(http://193.194.138.190/tbs/doc.nsf/(Symbol)/0b0fece5de7503b0c1256ffc00489e4
b?Opendocument) which states that "[I]n those States in which ethnic,
religious or linguistic minorities exist, persons belonging to these
minorities shall not be denied the right, in community with the other
members of their group, to enjoy their own culture, to profess and practise
their own religion, or to use their own language."

... više ...


OSIJEK - Saborski zastupnik Branimir Glavaš podnio je Opæinskom sudu u Osijeku tužbu protiv nakladnika Europapress holdinga zbog teksta objavljenog u Jutarnjem listu 13. svibnja ove godine pod naslovom "Glavaš veæ pet godina ne plaæa alimentaciju". Istièe da su tvrdnje iznesene u tekstu potpuno neistinite te da protiv njega nikada nije podnesena tužba zbog neplaæanja uzdržavanja, što je, inaèe, kazneno djelo. Glavaš u tužbi navodi da mu je taj novinski èlanak, objavljen dan uoèi lokalnih izbora, nanio nemjerljivu moralnu štetu te da je od glavnog urednika Jutarnjeg lista zatražio da u skladu sa Zakonom o medijima objavi ispriku, što nije uèinjeno.
"Objavljivanjem èlanka s neistinitim, klevetnièkim sadržajem nanesena mi je moralna šteta, èiji su razmjeri nemjerljivi. U èasu kada sam saznao za taj èlanak i njegov sadržaj pretrpio sam psihièki šok od kojeg se vrlo teško i vrlo polagano oporavljam. Slièan psihièki šok pretrpio je i moj maloljetni sin, koji nije mogao povjerovati da se u novinama može objaviti takva kleveta i neistina takvih razmjera. Osim toga, s obzirom na to da je opisani èlanak bio objavljen u pomno odabranom trenutku, oèigledno je bio namijenjen i nanošenju štete mojem politièkom djelovanju", stoji u tužbi. Za zadovoljštinu pretrpljenih psihièkih boli Glavaš traži da mu Europapress holding isplati 300.000 kuna.
Glavaš je juèer takoðer ustvrdio da su "izdanja EPH-a - Jutarnji list i Globus, predvodnici medijskog linèa na njega u proteklih mjesec dana, a u vezi s istragom o ubojstvima civila u Osijeku 1991. i 1992. godine". Stoga Glavaš u zakonskom roku najavljuje nove tužbe protiv EPH, i to u višemilijunskim iznosima.  M. FILIPOVIÆ

... više ...


Prošloga je tjedna RTL Televizija odluèila proširiti tužbu podignutu 22. srpnja protiv HTV-a, pokrenutu zbog prekršenja odredbi o vremenskom ogranièenju televizijskog oglašavanja promidžbenog programa.
Usprkos velikom broju upozorenja Udruge komercijalnih televizija i RTL Televizije — poruèuju s naše najmlaðe komercijalne televizije — HRT nastavlja s kršenjem Zakona o HRT-u i Zakona o elektronièkim medijima te je tako u proteklih šest mjeseci HRT navedene zakone prekršio gotovo šeststo puta (i samo u travnju, svibnju i lipnju emitirao èak 13 tisuæa sekundi iznad zakonskog limita, èime je utržio dodatnih 13,3 milijuna kuna) te bez obzira na tužbu i dalje nastavio s praksom kršenja zakona emitiranjem nedopuštene kolièine reklama. Samo tijekom srpnja HRT je prekršio zakon 47 puta te je RTL odluèio proširiti postojeæu tužbu novim sluèajevima kršenja zakona zabilježenim u srpnju.
— Prigovor RTL-a javnoj televiziji bio je da na Prvom i Drugom programu krši zakon po trajanju reklama, odnosno da ih u jednome satu emitira duže od devet minuta — pojašnjava Drenislav Žekiæ, donedavni generalni tajnik i direktor korporativnih komunikacija RTL-a, koji je nedavno na inicijativu Nove TV i RTL-a imenovan za direktora Udruge komercijalnih televizija (u osnivanju).
Èinjenice, a ne nagaðanja
— To su èinjenice, a ne nagaðanja, kako se ovih dana u medijima znalo spekulirati. Naravno da s HTV-a ovo istraživanje nezavisne medijske agencije mogu osporiti ili se s njime složiti, ali ako se komercijalne televizije drže zakonom propisanih 12 minuta, onda tu daljnje diskusije nema. Ono oko èega se može povesti diskusija jest, primjerice, Latinica. HTV je Latinicu prekinuo na dva dijela. Ako zakon propisuje da se unutar jedne emisije ne smije emitirati više od jedne reklame, postavlja se pitanje je li Latinica jedinstvena emisija ili je tu rijeè o dvije emisije. Ako je rijeè o dvije emisije, onda ne krše zakon, no ako je rijeè o jednoj, krše ga.
Žekiæ drži kako HTV nikako ne može osporiti odreðene lako provjerljive fakte, poput kolièine emitiranih reklama u odreðenom satu. Na prvi pogled ta je kolièina zanemariva — nekoliko sekundi ili minuta više — ali kada se sve zbroji i dobije cifra od 13 milijuna kuna, svakome se zavrti u glavi.
— Da se ne bismo pogrešno razumjeli, ovaj sukob nema nikakve veze s nekim osobnim razinama izmeðu bilo koga, veæ je rijeè naprosto o borbi za prihvaæanje tržišnog natjecanja i pravila igre. Dat æu vam jedan primjer: vi i ja dogovorimo se da æemo preko ljeta zaraðivati dostavom pizza. Imamo 1 kunu po dostavi. Ako zajedno jurimo mopedom po Zagrebu i vi poštujete propise brzine i napravite tri kune po satu, a ja jurim kao divljak i prolazim kroz crveno i ostvarim pet kuna, a policajca nije briga, ne osjeæate li se vi onda glupo jer poštujete propise? A ja sam zaradio više i nitko me nije kaznio. O tome se radi. Ili neka kažu da je ovdje divlje tržište, pa æemo svi raditi na isti naèin...
Iako je potpuno jasno kako je tijekom protekle dvije-tri godine, nakon medijskog proboja Nove TV i RTL-a, došlo i do znaèajnije preraspodjele marketinškog kolaèa u segmentu televizijskog oglašavanja, te je od apsolutne dominacije Hrvatske radiotelevizije, Novoj TV i RTL-u pošlo za rukom preuzeti vrlo pristojan postotak ukupnog tržišta, Žekiæ istièe kako ovu tužbu nisu mogli izbjeæi.
— Tu je najveæa odgovornost Vijeæa za elektronièke medije, koje nije reagiralo na naša opetovana upozorenja o kršenju zakona. Samo je ono moglo dati procjene i analize postojeæe situacije te, ako je nešto sporno, otvoriti debatu. Moglo je to biti pitanje Latinice, pitanje imaju li Nova TV i RTL dovoljnu kolièinu domaæe produkcije ili može li se neka emisija smatrati domaæom produkcijom zato što je mješavina kupljenih, stranih materijala s domaæom obradom... To je arbitriranje, dok kontroli èinjenica ne može nitko pobjeæi. Da je Vijeæe za elektronièke medije na vrijeme reagiralo, a ne se postavilo birokratski, do ovoga ne bi došlo. U RTL-ovoj tužbi, takoðer moramo naglasiti, ne postoji zahtjev za naknadom bilo kakve štete; potražujemo simboliènih milijun kuna koje smo se obvezali uplatiti u humanitarne svrhe. Dakle, naša intencija, kao i poruka Vijeæu jest: sprijeèite kršenje zakona. Ništa više.
HTV - komercijalna televizija
Koliko doznajemo, Vijeæe na tužbu još nije reagiralo, veæ je na sve dopise UKT-a odgovorilo tako da ih je obavijestilo kako je od HTV-a zatražilo oèitovanje. Je li ga dobilo ili nije, nismo uspjeli doznati. No praæenje kretanja programa od strane UKT-a i RTL-a protekla èetiri mjeseca pokazalo je kako se ponavlja jedno te isto: broj reklama veæi je od dopuštenog u jednome programskom satu, a zakon se krši i unutar pojedinih emisija. Stoga se optimistièna oèekivanja UKT-a odnose podjednako na poštovanje postojeæeg zakona, kao i promjene Zakona o HRT-u i Zakona o elektronièkim medijima (po kojima bi se trebao otvoriti veæi prostor za veæe prihode od reklama za komercijalne televizije) te da se nacionalna televizija kao javna ustanova orijentira na proizvodnju programa od šireg interesa, za što i prima pretplatu.
— Najgore od svega jest èinjenica da se HTV svojim programom pretvorio u komercijalnu televiziju. Pogledajte njihov prime-time: dva puta tjedno ide Milijunaš, dva puta tjedno Uzmi ili ostavi, zatim Piramida, Bingo i Najslabija karika. Slièi li to na javnu televiziju kojoj se plaæa pretplata ili je to program komercijalne televizije? Takoðer, stvorila se i jedna klima koja ostavlja dojam kako su svi protiv nacionalne televizije, što nema nikakve veze s istinom. Mi se ne bavimo politikom, veæ biznisom.
No, kako sada stvari stoje, dok ne bude proveden postupak screeninga (strogog ispitivanja) Zakona o HRT-u, nikakve promjene istoga neæe se provoditi. Promjene najavljene u programu prilagodbe hrvatskog zakonodavstva europskim propisima bavit æe se dubioznim skeniranjem svake toèke zakona i procjenom koliko rješenja iz domaæih zakonskih tekstova odgovaraju europskim rješenjima. Vidi li Žekiæ u nekome od europskih modela neki koji bi najbolje odgovarao hrvatskoj situaciji? Ili, osim manjih nejasnoæa, zapravo imamo dobar zakon?
— Smatram kako su hrvatski propisi vrlo dobri i bliski europskim standardima. Ono što odudara jest to što se trenutaèno mijenja struktura, tj. slika medijskog tržišta u Hrvatskoj. Do prije godinu-dvije dana sve je bilo u rukama HRT-a i nije bilo alternative, a sada imate brdo pitanja: od toga što je funkcija javne televizije do toga je li kupovanje skupih filmova primarna funkcija javne ili komercijalne televizije. Do sada je HTV morao zadovoljiti i taj javni i komercijalni segment, ali to više nije sluèaj. Baš zato zakoni bi se trebali usavršiti i preciznije regulirati neke stvari. Takoðer, moje je mišljenje da arhiv HRT-a spada pod javno dobro, baš kao i Nacionalna i sveuèilišna biblioteka te da odreðenu snimku iz, primjerice, 1990. svatko po odreðenoj cijeni može kupiti. Ovako imamo situaciju da HTV komercijalnim televizijama neke snimke uskraæuje, pa ih ucjenjuje, pa nema definirane cijene... Ta i slièna pitanja zakonom se moraju regulirati.                Vladimira PALEÈEK    

... više ...


Prošloga je tjedna RTL Televizija odluèila proširiti tužbu podignutu 22. srpnja protiv HTV-a, pokrenutu zbog prekršenja odredbi o vremenskom ogranièenju televizijskog oglašavanja promidžbenog programa.
Usprkos velikom broju upozorenja Udruge komercijalnih televizija i RTL Televizije — poruèuju s naše najmlaðe komercijalne televizije — HRT nastavlja s kršenjem Zakona o HRT-u i Zakona o elektronièkim medijima te je tako u proteklih šest mjeseci HRT navedene zakone prekršio gotovo šeststo puta (i samo u travnju, svibnju i lipnju emitirao èak 13 tisuæa sekundi iznad zakonskog limita, èime je utržio dodatnih 13,3 milijuna kuna) te bez obzira na tužbu i dalje nastavio s praksom kršenja zakona emitiranjem nedopuštene kolièine reklama. Samo tijekom srpnja HRT je prekršio zakon 47 puta te je RTL odluèio proširiti postojeæu tužbu novim sluèajevima kršenja zakona zabilježenim u srpnju.
— Prigovor RTL-a javnoj televiziji bio je da na Prvom i Drugom programu krši zakon po trajanju reklama, odnosno da ih u jednome satu emitira duže od devet minuta — pojašnjava Drenislav Žekiæ, donedavni generalni tajnik i direktor korporativnih komunikacija RTL-a, koji je nedavno na inicijativu Nove TV i RTL-a imenovan za direktora Udruge komercijalnih televizija (u osnivanju).
Èinjenice, a ne nagaðanja
— To su èinjenice, a ne nagaðanja, kako se ovih dana u medijima znalo spekulirati. Naravno da s HTV-a ovo istraživanje nezavisne medijske agencije mogu osporiti ili se s njime složiti, ali ako se komercijalne televizije drže zakonom propisanih 12 minuta, onda tu daljnje diskusije nema. Ono oko èega se može povesti diskusija jest, primjerice, Latinica. HTV je Latinicu prekinuo na dva dijela. Ako zakon propisuje da se unutar jedne emisije ne smije emitirati više od jedne reklame, postavlja se pitanje je li Latinica jedinstvena emisija ili je tu rijeè o dvije emisije. Ako je rijeè o dvije emisije, onda ne krše zakon, no ako je rijeè o jednoj, krše ga.
Žekiæ drži kako HTV nikako ne može osporiti odreðene lako provjerljive fakte, poput kolièine emitiranih reklama u odreðenom satu. Na prvi pogled ta je kolièina zanemariva — nekoliko sekundi ili minuta više — ali kada se sve zbroji i dobije cifra od 13 milijuna kuna, svakome se zavrti u glavi.
— Da se ne bismo pogrešno razumjeli, ovaj sukob nema nikakve veze s nekim osobnim razinama izmeðu bilo koga, veæ je rijeè naprosto o borbi za prihvaæanje tržišnog natjecanja i pravila igre. Dat æu vam jedan primjer: vi i ja dogovorimo se da æemo preko ljeta zaraðivati dostavom pizza. Imamo 1 kunu po dostavi. Ako zajedno jurimo mopedom po Zagrebu i vi poštujete propise brzine i napravite tri kune po satu, a ja jurim kao divljak i prolazim kroz crveno i ostvarim pet kuna, a policajca nije briga, ne osjeæate li se vi onda glupo jer poštujete propise? A ja sam zaradio više i nitko me nije kaznio. O tome se radi. Ili neka kažu da je ovdje divlje tržište, pa æemo svi raditi na isti naèin...
Iako je potpuno jasno kako je tijekom protekle dvije-tri godine, nakon medijskog proboja Nove TV i RTL-a, došlo i do znaèajnije preraspodjele marketinškog kolaèa u segmentu televizijskog oglašavanja, te je od apsolutne dominacije Hrvatske radiotelevizije, Novoj TV i RTL-u pošlo za rukom preuzeti vrlo pristojan postotak ukupnog tržišta, Žekiæ istièe kako ovu tužbu nisu mogli izbjeæi.
— Tu je najveæa odgovornost Vijeæa za elektronièke medije, koje nije reagiralo na naša opetovana upozorenja o kršenju zakona. Samo je ono moglo dati procjene i analize postojeæe situacije te, ako je nešto sporno, otvoriti debatu. Moglo je to biti pitanje Latinice, pitanje imaju li Nova TV i RTL dovoljnu kolièinu domaæe produkcije ili može li se neka emisija smatrati domaæom produkcijom zato što je mješavina kupljenih, stranih materijala s domaæom obradom... To je arbitriranje, dok kontroli èinjenica ne može nitko pobjeæi. Da je Vijeæe za elektronièke medije na vrijeme reagiralo, a ne se postavilo birokratski, do ovoga ne bi došlo. U RTL-ovoj tužbi, takoðer moramo naglasiti, ne postoji zahtjev za naknadom bilo kakve štete; potražujemo simboliènih milijun kuna koje smo se obvezali uplatiti u humanitarne svrhe. Dakle, naša intencija, kao i poruka Vijeæu jest: sprijeèite kršenje zakona. Ništa više.
HTV - komercijalna televizija
Koliko doznajemo, Vijeæe na tužbu još nije reagiralo, veæ je na sve dopise UKT-a odgovorilo tako da ih je obavijestilo kako je od HTV-a zatražilo oèitovanje. Je li ga dobilo ili nije, nismo uspjeli doznati. No praæenje kretanja programa od strane UKT-a i RTL-a protekla èetiri mjeseca pokazalo je kako se ponavlja jedno te isto: broj reklama veæi je od dopuštenog u jednome programskom satu, a zakon se krši i unutar pojedinih emisija. Stoga se optimistièna oèekivanja UKT-a odnose podjednako na poštovanje postojeæeg zakona, kao i promjene Zakona o HRT-u i Zakona o elektronièkim medijima (po kojima bi se trebao otvoriti veæi prostor za veæe prihode od reklama za komercijalne televizije) te da se nacionalna televizija kao javna ustanova orijentira na proizvodnju programa od šireg interesa, za što i prima pretplatu.
— Najgore od svega jest èinjenica da se HTV svojim programom pretvorio u komercijalnu televiziju. Pogledajte njihov prime-time: dva puta tjedno ide Milijunaš, dva puta tjedno Uzmi ili ostavi, zatim Piramida, Bingo i Najslabija karika. Slièi li to na javnu televiziju kojoj se plaæa pretplata ili je to program komercijalne televizije? Takoðer, stvorila se i jedna klima koja ostavlja dojam kako su svi protiv nacionalne televizije, što nema nikakve veze s istinom. Mi se ne bavimo politikom, veæ biznisom.
No, kako sada stvari stoje, dok ne bude proveden postupak screeninga (strogog ispitivanja) Zakona o HRT-u, nikakve promjene istoga neæe se provoditi. Promjene najavljene u programu prilagodbe hrvatskog zakonodavstva europskim propisima bavit æe se dubioznim skeniranjem svake toèke zakona i procjenom koliko rješenja iz domaæih zakonskih tekstova odgovaraju europskim rješenjima. Vidi li Žekiæ u nekome od europskih modela neki koji bi najbolje odgovarao hrvatskoj situaciji? Ili, osim manjih nejasnoæa, zapravo imamo dobar zakon?
— Smatram kako su hrvatski propisi vrlo dobri i bliski europskim standardima. Ono što odudara jest to što se trenutaèno mijenja struktura, tj. slika medijskog tržišta u Hrvatskoj. Do prije godinu-dvije dana sve je bilo u rukama HRT-a i nije bilo alternative, a sada imate brdo pitanja: od toga što je funkcija javne televizije do toga je li kupovanje skupih filmova primarna funkcija javne ili komercijalne televizije. Do sada je HTV morao zadovoljiti i taj javni i komercijalni segment, ali to više nije sluèaj. Baš zato zakoni bi se trebali usavršiti i preciznije regulirati neke stvari. Takoðer, moje je mišljenje da arhiv HRT-a spada pod javno dobro, baš kao i Nacionalna i sveuèilišna biblioteka te da odreðenu snimku iz, primjerice, 1990. svatko po odreðenoj cijeni može kupiti. Ovako imamo situaciju da HTV komercijalnim televizijama neke snimke uskraæuje, pa ih ucjenjuje, pa nema definirane cijene... Ta i slièna pitanja zakonom se moraju regulirati.                Vladimira PALEÈEK    

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EU INDEPENDENT RADIO FOR BELARUS

MINSK, July 30, 2005 (Beta) - The European Union will respond to the appeal
of Poland authorities to financially support radio and TV programs for
Belarus for better promotion of objective and uncensored information.

The European Union's external relations commissioner Benita Ferrero-Waldner
said it was part of EU's striving to provide uncensored information to the
citizens of this country.

Poland's foreign minister Adam Daniel Rotfeld wrote to the European
Commission on Friday calling on the EU to urge Belarus to respect the rights
of Polish minority there. Poland has demanded the problem to be discussed at
the next EU meeting in September.


"The European Commission can support the non-government organisations but
not political parties. We never do that", the External Relations
Spokesperson for the European Commission Amadeu Altafaj Tardio told the
Polish daily Rzeczpospolita.

The reasons for this were new strong pressures of the Belarus authorities on
the Union of Poles, an organisation representing the country's large ethnic
Polish population. The tension between the two neighboring countries
originated in mid May and since then both countries have expelled three
diplomats. This week, Poland has called off their ambassador from the
consultations in Minsk, also considering the option of proclaiming Belarus
ambassador in Warsaw a persona non grata.

Belarus President Alexander Lukashenko has accused the Polish community and
Warsaw of plotting to overthrow him.

The Belarusian police on Wednesday had stormed the headquarters of the Union
of Poles, throwing out the new legally elected management, at the same time
briefly detaining two journalists of the Polish daily Gazeta Vyborcza.

Hans Gert Petering, leader of the largest fraction in the European
Parliament, the European National Party, has reported on the attempt of the
Lukashenko's regime to destroy the largest non-governmental organisation
free of government control.

Reporters without Borders have protested over the harassment of Polish
journalists and pressures on Polish minority media in Belarus, which counts
around 400.000 members. This media organisation urged the government to stop
repressions of minority media, since "they must not be the victims of
tensions in relations of the two countries".

Polish Parliament Speaker Wlodzimierz Cimoszewicz urged the EU to condemn
the violation of democratic standards and minority rights in Belarus, and to
assess this new crisis of Polish-Belarus relations.

SEEMO: TO WITHDRAW DRAFT AMENDMENTS

VIENNA, July 30, 2005 (Danas) - The Vienna-based South East Europe Media
Organisation (SEEMO is concerned about draft amendments to the Broadcast
Act, which the Government of Serbia intends to put before Parliament.

SEEMO is informed that the Serbian Government would like to amend the
three-year old Broadcast Act and has sent the amendments to Parliament
without consulting professional media organisations in Serbia, said in the
statement of this media organisation.

SEEMO also noted that one of the amendments would revoke the veto power of
the Broadcast Council member nominated by the autonomous province of
Vojvodina, who until now has had the power of veto in all decisions
concerning Vojvodina. With this amendment, the Belgrade government has
displayed a singular lack of understanding of the problems that are specific
to Vojvodina as a multi-ethnic province.

In addition, the amendments also extend the deadline for the privatisation
of media operated by local government authorities until the end of 2008.
According to the original Act, the deadline for privatisation was the summer
of 2006, said in the statement.

"Instead of speeding up the process of political independence, the Serbian
Government is leaving the electronic media at the mercy of local authorities
until after the next local elections in Serbia in 2008," said Oliver
Vujovic, SEEMO Secretary General.

SEEMO is particularly alarmed over fact that, under the new amendments, the
deadline for the transition of Radio Television Serbia (RTS) from a
state-controlled broadcaster to a public service broadcasting organisation
had also been extended until 30 April 2006.

"SEEMO calls on the Serbian Government to withdraw the draft amendments to
the Broadcast Act and to enter into a wide-ranging consultation with media
and other civil society groups before any further amendments are put
forward," Vujovic added.

JOURNALISTS' ETHICS

BELGRADE, August 1, 2005 (B92) - The media report of the Belgrade Media
Center showed that the journalists have not respected the rule that everyone
is innocent until proven guilty.

Belgrade dailies Kurir and Glas Javnosti are leading in the number of
articles on violence over children and minors and in which the code of
ethics was breached by publishing the names and photographs of victims or
suspects, while dailies Politika and Danas, according to the reports of the
Media Center, had almost none.

The report dealt with the violation of ethics in print media, stating that
the journalists ought to respect the rule that no one was guilty until
proven otherwise.

The reporting of journalists in print media was based on sensationalism,
huge amount of gossip, groundless accusations, rumors, fabricated letters or
letters of unidentified authors, said in the report.

Psychologist Vesna Brzev Curcic said that the eruption of reports on child
abuse in print media in Serbia was caused not so much by the frequency of
such incidences, but the fact that the society started to open up toward the
issue.

"The abuse has become recognizable as a social phenomenon. It stopped being
the taboo and there are more experts that deal with the issue. People are
being more encouraged to report the abuse. Certain legal measures and
regulations have been implemented. There are not so many cases of abuse as
much as our media writes about them", said Brzev Curcic.

Vesna Brzev Curcic stressed that the front page of the newspapers, which
showed the photograph of the suspect for child abuse and murder of a child
with the headline: "Look at him, Serbia: he murdered a child!", was regarded
as a violation over the readers. She also said that nobody, particularly the
media, must not convict before the valid verdict of the court of law.

A nine-year-old raped?

Milan Jankovic was taken to one-month detention for allegedly raping
nine-year-old M.V.

The police reported that the investigative judge of the Valjevo District
Court Milan Aleksic had detained Jovanovic for suspicion of raping a girl on
July 28. Jankovic is a refugee from a place near Vakuf in Bosnia and
Herzegovina with temporary residence in village Patkovaca near Bijeljina.
Jankovic was working as a wage laborer in villages near Valjevo. He met the
girl's father last year, when he helped him with three cutting.

According to the police reports, the decision on detention was brought to
prevent Jankovic of escaping and influencing the witnesses during the
investigation.

WHAT'S SERBIA WATCHING?

BELGRADE, August 3, 2005 (Beta) - The highest rated television station in
Serbia in the first seven months of this year is RTV Pink, with RTS' Program
1 and TV BK following.

According to results of the survey of AGB Nielsen Media Research, RTV Pink
was the most watched television station from January to July with 22.5
percent of total audience share, followed by the RTS with 21.7 percent and
TV BK with 11.4 percent of audience share. TV B92 is in forth place with 6.9
percent, followed by the Program 2 of RTS with 6.3 and RTS Program 3 with
3.8 percent.

All other television stations with coverage on the territory of Serbia had
less than 1.5 percent of total audience share, said AGB Director Darko
Brocic.

The best rated television show during those seven months was the TV Pink's
coverage of the soccer game between the national teams of Serbia-Montenegro
and Spain on March 30, with the average audience share of 27.5 percent.
Second best was the last episode of the soap "Ruby" broadcast on TV Pink on
January 29, with the average ratings of 23.5 percent, while RTS 1 News 2 on
January 6 was third with 22.2 percent of average share.

RTS 1 had the highest daily share during the first seven months with
3,948,000 viewers on average. TV Pink had 3,762,000 viewers, BK 3,257,000,
RTS 2 2,876,000, B92 2,587,000 and RTS 3 2,303,000 viewers.

TV Pink was watched 119 minutes a day, RTS 1 - 110 minutes, BK 70, RTS 2 43
and RTS 3 - 33 minutes a day.

All research data were based on results measured by peoplemeters installed
in 890 households on the territory of Serbia without Kosovo.

VIOLENCE OVER BROADCAST FIELD

BELGRADE, August 4, 2005 (B92) - The Association of Independent Electronic
Media (ANEM), the Association of Independent Serbian Journalists (IJAS) and
the Media Division of the Nezavisnost Trade Union protested against the new
violence of the authorities over the broadcast sector in Serbia.

The three organisations protested strongly against the proposed amendments
to the Broadcast Act.

The amendments would delay transformation of RTS into a public service
broadcaster and introduction of subscription nine months earlier. The
government-proposed amendments would also delay the privatisation of the
local media and introduction of the principle under which members of the
Broadcast Council could be elected several times in a row. The organisations
also protested over the amendment which revoked the power of veto of the
Council member from Vojvodina.

The proposed changes to the Act which would postpone the privatisation of
local media to the end of 2008 would leave the possibility of the local
government to use these media outlets as their mouthpiece, said the IJAS
president Nebojsa Bugarinovic.

"This demonstrates clear political intention to keep the media under control
until after the 2008 municipal elections. This sends a bad message to the
public", said Bugarinovic.

"One of the disputed amendments delays the transformation of RTS into a
public service until April 2008. The government proposed this amendment not
because it was not ready to carry out such complex work, but because of its
inclination to control the electronic media", said Dragan Milanovic from the
Nezavisnost Union.

"They obviously want to create confusion, in which they would have the
absolute authority over RTS on local and national level, by passing disputed
legal solutions and interpreting previous clauses of the Act as they see
fit", said Milanovic.

At the same time, the amendments to the Act envisage introduction of RTS
subscription and divisional balance and transformation of this media into a
public service until the end of March 2006.

Chairman of ANEM Managing Board Slobodan Stojsic said that the journalists'
associations and professional organisations supported the introduction of TV
subscription in general, but not as long as RTS was just one of the media
outlets whose management was directly appointed by the government.

"The subscription is just an imposition because the citizens are already
paying it through the budget set for financing this television. Now they are
asked to pay again", said Stojsic.

ANEM, IJAS and Nezavisnost Union see the solution in enacting the valid
provisions of the Act. The three organisations expect the government would
not adopt the proposed amendments.

UNACCEPTABLE AMENDMENTS

BELGRADE, August 4, 2005 (Danas) - Representatives of the Association of
Independent Serbian Journalists (IJAS), the Association of Independent
Electronic Media (ANEM) and the Media Division of the Nezavisnost Trade
Union protested strongly against the draft amendments to the Broadcast Act
at a press conference yesterday.

The three organisations regarded these amendments as unacceptable. Chairman
of the ANEM Managing Board Slobodan Stojsic called on the members of
Parliament not to adopt the proposed amendments. He also suggested the valid
Broadcast Act should be implemented and pressures on the members of the
Broadcast Council should stop.

Representatives of the three professional organisations voiced their mutual
opinion that these amendments would only hinder the resolution of the media
sector's accumulated problems.

At the same time, the professional organisations noted that they heard about
the proposed changes from the media and that they have not been previously
consulted or informed.

President of IJAS Nebojsa Bugarinovic said that the proposed amendments to
the Act would give certain members of the Council more authority. The fact
that some members could stay in the Council for 18 years only prevents the
fluctuation of this regulatory body.

Bugarinovic pointed to the concealed attempt to deliberately annul certain
rights of the province by revoking the power of veto of the Council member
from Vojvodina.

Bugarinovic added that the postponement for the privatization of local media
until December 31, 2008 evidently demonstrated Government's intention to
control media until the new elections.

"The delayed privatisation will be used only to hold up the RTS
transformation and to preserve political influence and power in the
broadcasting field until the new elections", Slobodan Stojsic pointed out.

Vice-president of the Nezavisnost Union Dragan Milanovic said that the
government was reluctant to bring order into the broadcasting sphere.

"The government still shows its intention to control the electronic media,
introducing confusion into the field by misinterpreting the articles of the
current valid Act", said Milanovic.

All three organisations noted it was still unclear why the government
proposed new amendments to the Act before it has been implemented. Only its
implementation would prove if the Act was really unworkable.

PRESSURES ON COUNCIL'S INDEPENDENCE

BELGRADE, August 5, 2005 (Danas) - The Broadcast Agency Council stated
yesterday that the press conference, held by the Independent Association of
Serbian Journalists (IJAS), Media Division of Nezavisnost Trade Union and
Association of Independent Electronic Media (ANEM) in Belgrade Media Center,
was a certain form of pressure on council's independence established by the
law.

"These organisations are aware that the proposed amendments to the Broadcast
Act were partly initiated by the Broadcast Council. This regulatory body was
pushed to this action because the existing legislation, created by the
personal criteria of the groups gathered around ANEM and IJAS, cannot be
implemented. In short, the badly written and contradictory Act needs to be
amended", said in the statement of the Broadcast Agency Council.

The council also stated that "maintaining of the power of veto of the
council member nominated by the Vojvodina Parliament was against the
Constitution".

"The work of the Council would become absurd, since the member with the
power of veto is currently under investigation for suspicion of abusing his
authorities", said in the statement.

Further, the postponement of privatisation of local electronic media would
leave wider strategic space, said in the statement signed by Vladimir
Cvetkovic.

Namely, according to Council's records, from the moment the Act came into
force three years ago until present, none of 113 radio and TV stations
founded by the local government had been privatized. It is unrealistic to
expect that the media would be privatized for less than a year under such
conditions.

The Broadcast Council said it would bring measures that would encourage
privatisation of local media with the Development Strategy and other
documents.

Commenting on the voiced protest against the proposed procedure of
determining members' mandates, the Council noted that "this was also
disputed in the first version of the Act. The amendments noted and corrected
the omissions."

"As for the transformation of RTS into a public service broadcaster, it is
utterly clear that there is no public service without its financial sources,
that is, subscription. Such claims that RTS needs to be transformed into a
public service broadcaster before the introduction of subscription are
absurd, since it would lead to the financial control of the government (if
it is financed from the budget) or to a bankrupt of the public service, if
it isn't financed at all."

Besides, the Broadcast Council believes that the business ethics of ANEM as
the association of radio and TV stations should not allow interference in
the internal organisation and transformation of RTS into a public service
broadcaster.

"Once again ANEM and IJAS use obvious tactics of declarative fostering, but
in reality obstructing of the transformation of RTS into a public service",
said in the statement of the Council.

"ANEM and IJAS do not have to worry about the pressures on the members of
the Council, since the press conferences and statements of these two
associations are in fact the strongest pressure which the council members
have felt until now", said in the statement.

"The Broadcast Council reminds the public of the fact that ANEM and IJAS
were the bearers of the two-year-long campaign which resulted in paralyzing
the work of the council. The managements of these organisations weren't
protecting the public interest but preserving the chaos in the broadcasting
field which in fact suits the groups linked to them."

AMENDMENTS DAMAGING TO VOJVODINA

NOVI SAD, August 5, 2005 (Danas) - The draft amendments to the Broadcast
Act, put into the urgent parliamentary procedure and scheduled to be debated
on August 20, were brought without consulting the professional
organisations. These amendments are damaging to Vojvodina, said the
Information Secretary of the province Milorad Djuric at the press conference
held yesterday.

Djuric stated that the proposed abrogation of provision of the Broadcast
Act, which envisages that the Broadcast Council cannot bring any decisions
concerning the privatisation and status of media in the province without the
consent of the council member from Vojvodina, would deprive it from having
any power in regulating the media scene in the province.

Djuric also said the proposed postponement of the privatisation of the
state-owned media to the end of 2008 was unacceptable, as well as delays in
forming of the public service broadcaster until April 30, 2006. Djuric noted
that these changes would only hinder the resolution of the media sector's
accumulated problems. He also pointed to the problem of RTS subscription
introduction, which would start from September 2005, saying that it would
not support the work of the public services but rather the public company
RTS, which should split the income from Vojvodina with RTV Novi Sad.

CONFUSION IN BROADCASTING

NOVI SAD, August 5, 2005 (B92) - The Association of Independent Electronic
Media called on the Government of the Republic of Serbia to withdraw draft
amendments to the Broadcast Act from parliamentary procedure.

If this was not done, this organisation urges the Parliament of the Republic
of Serbia not to adopt these amendments, said the chairman of the
Association's Managing Board Slobodan Stojsic.

Vojvodina authorities also protested against one of the amendments to the
Act that revoked power of veto of the council member from the province. They
also voiced their concern over the delay in transformation of RTS into a
public service and privatisation of local media.

ANEM believes these new changes to the Act were unnecessary, since the
legislation had never been implemented. The association also said that the
amendments to the Act would further obstruct the transformation of media in
Serbia. Moreover, impulsive actions concerning such sensitive issues such as
media were not good, said the chairman of ANEM Managing Board Slobodan
Stojsic.

"There is no justified reason for this second raft of amendments to the Act.
It only weakens the legislation and leads to dangerous consequences that
have the potential to create a mechanism which would lead to further
obstructions and delays in reform of the broadcast sector, which simply
isn't good", said Stojsic.

ANEM does not oppose the introduction of the subscription for the public
service broadcaster, but the general position of the association is that
RTS, not yet transformed, simply cannot collect the income from the
subscription. Besides, when subscription is introduced, it is necessary to
explain to the citizens the purpose of the money collected in such manner.

Vojvodina authorities also voiced their concern over the draft amendments to
the Act, saying that the position of the TV Novi Sad would be additionally
aggravated by postponement of RTS transformation. Vojvodina Information
Secretary Milorad Djuric said the amendments that revoked the power of veto
of the council member from Vojvodina demonstrated a lack of understanding
for the special problems of the province as a multiethnic environment.

"The forming of the public service broadcasters should be hastened, as a
requirement for the regulation of the media sphere in the country."

The authorities of the province objected to the introduction of RTS
subscription from September 2005 before its transformation into a public
service broadcaster and further postponement of the privatisation of local
media. "This is another wrong step that takes us away from the improvement
of conditions in which the media operate", stated the Information
Secretariat.



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Na redovitoj Skupštini dionièara Slobodne Dalmacije izabrani su novi èlanovi Nadzornog odbora, EPH-ovci Stipe Oreškoviæ, Sanja Mlaèak i Dražen Rajkoviæ. I dalje æe u NO-u sjediti predstavnica radnika Ljubica Vuko, te Ivan Mužiæ. Nadzorni odbor trebao bi se konstituirati u roku od tjedan dana, te izabrati novu upravu. Direktor Slobodne Dalmacije Srðan Kovaèiæ prezadovoljan je obavljenim poslom.  Moj je zadatak bio da Slobodnoj osiguram normalno funkcioniranje bez veæih stresova i pripremim je za prodaju. Sada su nam širom otvorena vrata za bolje sutra  istaknuo je Kovaèiæ.

Prva faza
Potpredsjednik Hrvatskog fonda za privatizaciju Josip Matanoviæ kaže kako je završena prva faza privatizacije, koja æe se provesti sa 83 i pol milijuna kuna dokapitalizacije. Time æe EPH, s veæ prije kupljenih 34,6 posto dionica za 24 milijuna kuna, dobiti u ruke 70 posto vlasnièkog paketa Slobodne Dalmacije.  Slijedi sinergijski uèinak zakona, u prvom redu primjena Zakona o preuzimanju trgovaèkih društava. EPH æe morati objaviti poziv za oko dvije tisuæe dionièara za otkup njihovih dionica.

Time æe steæi vlasništvo nad još 25 posto dionica, a ostalih pet posto u vlasništvu HFP-a dobit æe naknadno  kazao je Matanoviæ. Ukupno ulaganje u Slobodnu iznosit æe 535 milijuna kuna, kako je i navedeno u ponudi EPH, potvrdio je direktor Stipe Oreškoviæ.  Split æe, nadam se, i dalje ostati središte tiskarske djelatnosti u Dalmaciji, oèekujem veliki korak naprijed, s novom tehnologijom i poznatim vlasnikom. Zapamtit æu današnji dan kao veliki dan u svom životu  kazao je Kovaèiæ.

Predstavnica radnika Ljubica Vuko nije zabrinuta za njihovu sudbinu. EPH se obvezao na poveæanje plaæa, otpuštanja, kaže, neæe biti pet godina. Normalno, uvijek postoji opcija da se nekome tko pretendira na kakvo urednièko mjesto ponudi neki "lijevi" posao, pa onda da taj sam ode.

Velika ulaganja
Tezu da Slobodna ima višak radne snage Vuko kategorièki demantira. Planovi ulaganja su grandiozni. Misli se iæi u prodaju zgrade u kojoj su smješteni tiskara i redakcija. Suvremena rotacija smjestila bi se u zaleðe, dok bi novi uredi niknuli u blizini postojeæih, nekoliko stotina metara dalje, uz stadion u Parku mladeži. Tamo se sada nalazi vozni park, a kako ta parcela ne bi bila dostatna, valjalo bi se dogovoriti s gradskim vlastima o proširenju. Skupština je, inaèe, prošla bez EPH-ovaca. Protiv prijedloga je, kaže Kovaèiæ, bio tek Mate Vekiæ. On je svojedobno potrošio milijune na dionice i sada se spori s državom.

 Oèekujem da novi vlasnik prepozna potencijale naše kuæe. Prvo polugodište poslovali smo s dobiti, a kad se uredi i pogoni obnove, možete se zabrinuti, jer æemo biti veæi igraè nego dosad  kazala je Ljubica Vuko. DRAGAN MILJUŠ

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Xinhua News Agency announced that the Beijing NationalSecurity Bureau formally accused Ching Cheong of spying.

 

According to Xinhua News Agency, the Beijing National Security Bureauis alleging that Ching admitted to acting as an intelligence gatherer for theTaiwan National Security Bureau from 2000 to March 2005. It is alleged that Ching set up channels between mainland China and Hong Kong, gathering economic andmilitary intelligence and selling it to aTaiwan agent in return for millions of Hong Kong dollars thus putting the national security of China in jeopardy.

 

“The decision by the Beijing National Security Bureau to charge ChingCheong with spying will have chilling affects on the media’s coverage ofmainlandChina,” said IFJ PresidentChristopher Warren.

 

The IFJ and itsHong Kongaffiliatethe Hong Kong Journalists’ Association (HKJA) are deeply concerned for ChingCheong who has been held in custody by mainland Chinese authorities since April2005.

 

The IFJ joins the HKJA in their plea for the Chinese authorities tobe fair, open and consistent in the rule of law when dealing with Ching Cheong’scase.


In addition, the IFJ and HKJA demand that the Chinese Governmentrespect his civil rights including the right to access his relatives, legalrepresentation and aid from the Hong Kong Special Administrative RegionGovernment.

TheIFJ, the world’s largest journalists’ organization, and the HKJA demand theimmediate dropping of all charges and immediate release of Ching Cheong, a wellrespected and experienced journalist.

“The consequences for the actions bythe Chinese Government are chilling,” saidWarren.

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Democratic reform and a newconstitution forIraqwillremain a distant dream while journalists continue to be targeted and murderedsaid the International Federation of Journalists today following the violentkilling of Steven Vincent, aUnitedStatesjournalist in the southern town ofBasrayesterday.

 

The IFJ says 93 journalistsand media staff have been killed since the start of the war in March 2003 and ofthese 68 have been Iraqi reporters and media workers.

 

 “The media safety crisis is as bad as ever,”said Aidan White, IFJ General Secretary. The authorities must give priority toending the security nightmare that makes the exercise of journalism a practicalimpossibility. Otherwise all talk of democratic reform and constitutional reformwill be a distant dream.”

 

The IFJ is organising aconference ofIraqjournalists’ representatives inJordanshortly to discuss the security crisis andjoint actions inIraqto unify journalists andstrengthen the rights of media.  

 

Freelancereporter Vincent was shot by unknown gunmen inBasra, southernIraq,where insurgents have recentlystepped up their attacks. He had been abducted with his female Iraqi translatorat gunpoint yesterday as they left a currency exchange shop. His body was foundsouth of the city a few hours later. The translator, Nour Weidi, was found alivebut seriously wounded.

 

Mr Vincent had been inBasrain recent months working for theChristian Science Monitorand theNew York Timesand was gatheringmaterial for a book aboutBasra. In a recent article, he wrote thatBasra's police force had been infiltrated by Shiamilitants and he has also criticisedUKforces, which are responsible for security inBasra, forignoring abuses of power by Shia extremists.

 

This latest killing brings to23 the number of media deaths inIraqthis year, but it is the firstinvolving an international reporter in 2005,” said White. “The incidentreinforces our view that thesafety crisis inIraqmust be dealt with as a toppriority.”

 

The death toll in 2004 and2005 has probably not included many international media staff because securityconcerns have led many media to withdraw their staff from the country or toinsist that they do not travel unguarded from high-security accommodation. As aresult, much of the western journalists reporting fromIraqdependheavily upon the assistance of local Iraqi journalists who do travel and whohave suffered as a result.

 

 The death inBasrais the first in the town this year says the IFJ; allof the other killings have taken place inBaghdad, the infamous “Sunni Triangle” of townsincluding Falluja or in the Kurdish region.

 

Out of the 93 total mediadeaths reported by the IFJ, 63 confirmed cases involve journalists and mediastaff killed by insurgents; the remaining 30 cases include 6 war-relatedaccidents, and the 24 remaining cases include 14 involving US Forces as well ascross-fire incidents.

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