Freedom of press in Kosovo deteriorates

Freedom of press in Kosovo deteriorates

Pristina, 21 April 2016/Independent Balkan News Agency

By Elton Tota

Kosovo has continued to drop in the world ranking list as far as the freedom of media is concerned.

In the latest report published by the world organization Reporters without Borders, Kosovo ranks 90th, by dropping three positions in comparison to 2015.

This organization says that the interventions of politics in the media are frequent.

“All bad symptoms can be found in Kosovo. Its media suffer the direct and indirect intervention from politics, financial pressure and concentrated ownership. Journalists who often criticize Kosovo’s authorities are often labeled as ‘traitors’ or ‘Serbia’s worshippers’. Media which do not support the government may be subject to tax or financial audits”, states the report.

Meanwhile, journalists in Kosovo say that the environment in which media in the country work is serious.

The deputy editor in chief of the national newspaper “Zeri i Prishtines”, Lavdim Hamidi told IBNA that the report reflects the serious situation in which journalists of Kosovo work.

“It’s a worrying situation because those who threaten the media have not received the punishment that they deserve by Kosovo courts”, Hamidi said.

The editor in chief of “Infokus” portal, Shkelzen Dakaj told IBNA that “the media is censored starting with businesses that exert their influence through adverts and the government which controls government adverts. In general, the government abuses with this power that it has on the media”, Dakaj said.

The report ranks 180 countries of the world in terms of the freedom of media existing in these countries, using as criteria pluralism, independence of media, media environment and auto-censorship, legislative environment, transparence, infrastructure and abuses. /