While cases of intimidation of journalists, including physical violence, are well-documented, there is less focus on the commercial practices frequently employed by state actors to undermine objective journalism, control public discourse and consolidate political power.
In its first report, the Balkan Free Media Initiative examines three methods used to control media markets:
- Control of public broadcasters and regulatory authorities tasked with upholding media laws
- Abuse of weak regulation on transparency of ownership or its enforcement to enable illegal control of media outlets by governments or their proxies
- Use of government subsidies to foster clientelism in weak, over-saturated media markets