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Extensive online media monitoring ahead of the June 2020 Serbian parliamentary elections exposed an overwhelming imbalance in media coverage of political actors. Government officials received significantly more netural to positive coverage by monitored media, while opposition figures were marginalized and when covered the prevailing tone was negative. President Aleksandar Vučić was by far the most frequent and most positive actor presented in the media, multiple times more so then the next most frequent - Prime Minister Ana Brnabić. While the majority of monitored articles were neutral, monitoring findings demonstrated a substantial lack of contentious topics. Most notable was the lack of coverage of contentious topics during the state of emergency that following the initial Covid-19 outbreak in Serbia. Online media did little to encourage informed debate ahead of the elections. Rather than asking questions media largely turned to promoting and amplifying government messages and retaliation against dissenting or critical voices. For the complete study download the document attached.

This case study is based on results of media monitoring conducted by IRI’s Beacon Project between September 1 and November 31, 2018, during which Czech and Slovak media produced 1,391 articles about migration. This media monitoring sought to gain an understanding of which migration narratives are disseminated, capture the dynamics of the identified narratives and understand the susceptibility to certain narratives by various demographic groups.

We are in the era of Web 2.0, where everybody can easily spread and promote their own messages and, via social networks and other communication channels, reach a significant number of people. Despite the many positives technological progress has brought, problems with information overload have emerged as well. When it comes to health care and the way the public gets its information the Internet has become one of the first sources people resort to.

A new poll by the International Republican Institute’s (IRI) Center for Insights in Survey Research of Kosovo, Bosnia and Herzegovina (BiH), North Macedonia and Serbia reflects a broad consensus that these countries belong to neither the West nor the East. Despite this attitude, the survey suggests that opportunities for engagement by Western institutions exist across the region. Check out our new interactive data dashboard here for customized insights into the poll.