Text topic: Culture and Democracy - 50 Years of the Review Kultura
Text author: Татјана Вулић и Марта Митровић
Based on professional standards as well as legal regulations, public service broadcasting of the Radio Television of Serbia should be an intermediary in realization of the public interest of all Serbian citizens. One of the main tasks of the Belgrade Television Program is to keep the whole nation informed – all citizens informed equally and in a balanced way. After recognizing the need of the viewers for a television show which would present cultural news from both Serbia and the world, the public broadcasting company started airing the “Culture News” in February 2014. In order to investigate the relationship that the “Culture News” had towards cultural events in Serbia, primarily in relation to cultural events organized outside Belgrade, our main research question was: Does the broadcast of the “Culture News” on Belgrade Television meet the standards prescribed by the Law on Public Service Broadcasting? Namely, a balanced representation of topics from all parts of Serbia should be not only a legal, but also the professional obligation of the Public Service Broadcasting channel. Therefore, another research question also was: Are other places in Serbia on the side-lines and neglected compared to Belgrade? For the purposes of this research, we have conducted an analysis of the “Culture News” television show broadcast between May 1 and May 31, 2018, which included a total of 23 television broadcasts, that is, 170 features. May was chosen for the analysis because this is a month when, in many Serbian cities and towns, a large number of cultural events are traditionally organized, which are not only of local but also of national significance, by events evaluation criteria. Based on the month-long analysis of this television show, the authors have identified a prominent marginalization of reporting on cultural events that are organized outside the country’s capital. Namely, 127 out of 170 features (74.71%) talked about the events that were organized in Belgrade; other Serbian cities and towns were represented with only 16 features (9.42%), while the remaining features were reserved for global events. Although genre-varied and of a high level of quality, the “Culture News” television show cannot satisfy neither the legal requirements nor the needs of all viewers in Serbia, since their reporting favours one city, leaving everyone else on the side-lines of culture and society.