Serbia, Montenegro, and Macedonia all have constitutions that protect their citizens’ rights to free speech, expression, and a free press. However, exercising these rights become difficult when defamation lawsuits still persist, journalists are routinely imprisoned, and journalists and media workers face constant threats, physical violence, and verbal attacks by the government and media rivals. The outlets in these countries also face great financial instability, which means many of them rely on government advertising for a large bulk of their funding. This leads to content that is oftentimes skewed towards government positions, as outlets do not want to risk their financial viability with unflattering coverage of government officials and policies. How can independent media thrive when there are a lack of legal and economic enabling environments in these countries? Are journalists doomed to serve as government mouthpieces, and will those who attack and kill journalists face justice? Please join us for lunch between 12:00-12:30. The event will start promptly at 12:30.
- Marija Sajkas; Media Diversity Institute
- Milka Tadic Mijovic; Weekly Monitor
- Ivana Cvetkovic Bajrovic; National Endowment for Democracy
**Due to technical difficulties, the audio and video functions properly beginning at the 3:50 minute mark**