Name of the project: Are public funds being misused? Monitoring the process of state financing of media projects
Donor: Open Society Foundation
Realization time: 01.06.2020- 31.10.2021.
The role of IJAS: project partner
Budget: RSD 542,000.00
About the project:
Non-transparent, uncontrolled and arbitrary spending of public money is recognized as one of the most efficient mechanisms of the so-called “soft censorship”, which negatively affects the economic viability of the media, and thus their independence.
Over the past few years, IJAS, together with BIRN and the Slavko Curuvija Foundation, has implemented the Public Money for the Public Interest project and has systematically monitored this spending and pointed out the misuse of public funds.
The problems we have identified and on which it is necessary to continue working in order to reach sustainable solutions and their incorporation into the new media regulations are: numerous abuses in the process of project financing of media (arbitrary election of commission members, support for tabloid media and media close to government , lack of civic participation and supervision), with a low level of quality of produced content; inadequate regulations governing the allocation of individual benefits; lack of market and cost analysis when ordering public procurement; increasing public budgets for direct contracting of various types of media and promotional services that significantly affect editorial independence.
The proposed project will include – monitoring, analysis, public information, involvement of local CSO and public advocacy. As the implementation of this project coincides with the start of the Media Strategy and the announced amendments to the law, BIRN and IJAS will use their presence in working groups to ensure that the mapped problems and proposed solutions are part of the new society, thus reducing abuses and corruption.
Project goal: Increasing the transparency of state funding of the media and ensuring the quality of public information
Specific objective of the project : Contribution to strengthening the accountability of state institutions through monitoring the spending of public funds in the media sector