A statement on the RTS portal said that the fact that every appearance by the president, prime minister and cabinet ministers was presented in the report as ruling party activities which is “a simplification that raises serious suspicions”.
The Interim Media Monitoring Body was formed by the government as part of measures to improve election conditions. Half of its 12 members were named by the government-controlled Regulatory Body for Electronic Media (REM) and the rest by ruling and opposition parties involved in the inter-party dialogue.
“When it says that the the RTS devoted 75 percent of air time to state officials and 10 percent to the opposition, that is seen as the ruling parties getting 7.5 times more air time than the opposition. The problem is that this simplification means that every appearance by the president, prime minister, parliamnet speaker, ministers, mayor is counted as their party’s air time not as air time given to their post,” the statement said, adding that President Aleksandar Vucic’s interview was included in the report as 99 minutes of air time for the Serbian Progressive Party (SNS) “even though he was there as head of state and did not spend a single minute on party affairs”.
It said that another problem with the report are the qualifications of shows as neutral, positive or negative because the people making those evaluations have not been identified.