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Abstract - Tijana Blagojev (PAIS)

Government Funding of Local Media: Project-Based Financing in Serbia-Supporting Local Public Information or Fulfilling Political Interests?

In 2014, a new system of state financing of public information was introduced in Serbia to ensure the withdrawal of the state from media ownership and support pluralism and diversity of information. The state would finance content that supports public interest or other initiatives such as minority information or specific relevant topics identified on the local level. The paper will use Serbian Ministry of Culture and Information data on government financing of media for three years (2017, 2016 and 2015). The aim of the research would be to focus on the funds received on the local level by municipalities to see how pluralism and diversity was supported. The analysis would look for noticeable patterns, such as which media received most funding which the least, how this changed throughout the years. It will visualise data through R programming language which can be helpful to media experts and journalists to more easily see the distribution of funds as well as to cross-check the information that the associations gathered through their own monitoring. It can also be helpful to better target initiatives of journalism trainings organized locally throughout Serbia. Currently, the new Media Strategy adoption is under way that suggests steps for improvement in the sector related to, among other issues, the government subsidies to media. The results from this study could prove beneficial in further supporting concrete legislative changes that could improve process.

MA Big Data, Politics and Quantitative Methods

Politics and International Studies Department