Information in Minority Languages in the Western Balkans: Freedom, Access, Marginalization

How are minorities represented in the media and what quality assurance is there of such content and information when broadcasted in the national minorities’ languages of Bosnia and Herzegovina, Macedonia, Montenegro and Serbia? The book offers examples and empirical data related to the quality of minority media content and pairs this knowledge with appropriate policy recommendations for the media. It also supplies informational models on national minority languages in Western Balkan countries. The book is a direct result of the RRPP research project Minority and Media in the Western Balkan: Regional Comparative Research Project on Quality of Minority Media Content led by the Media Plan Institute.

First Section

The first section presents the theoretical background and research methodology, offering an overview of the basic terms, concepts, models, obstacles and dilemmas related to work on minority media. Ms Dubravka Valic-Nedeljkovic from the Faculty of Philosophy, University of Novi Sad, examines the different definitions of minority media and their dominant work models based on the empirical findings from relevant research previously conducted in conjunction with the book’s newfound data.

Second Section

The second section of the book focuses on the main research results containing significant comparative observations, illustrating them through statistics and individual analyses of media in the languages of national minorities for each of the four countries involved in the project.

Analysis of Media in Minority Languages in Serbia

This chapter highlights media in the Hungarian, Croatian and Romani languages. The analysis discusses the current trend’s political clientelism in which political elites patronise the media, forcing dependency. Political clientelism is consequently mimicked in the sphere of minority media wherein the attitudes of minority communities and their influences on editorial policies for minority language media are legalised. One valuable conclusion reveals disparities in information access between minority and majority languages. Media content will be disproportionally related to a single minority in relation to that which is provided for the majority if their languages differ greatly. However, there tend to be more articles related to a minority group if their language is similar to that of the majority.

Media of the Non-Majority Communities in Macedonia

This chapter centres on public service broadcasters and the extent to which they fulfil their legal responsibilities in meeting the informative, educational and cultural needs of different communities that allow society to better cohere. The article’s significance converges on the discovery that the aforementioned behaviours of media described in this book actually disintegrate society, failing to strengthen their bonds. The research data also concludes the main features of public service broadcasting to be that of political clientelism, ethnocentric reporting and overall unprofessional reporting standards.

Media and National Minorities in Bosnia and Herzegovina

This chapter concentrates on a small number of national minority media outlets and programs for national minorities that are broadcasted regularly on public radio. The research does not indicate any programs using the languages of national minorities on public broadcasting services in Bosnia and Herzegovina. However, magazine shows are regularly made for and about national minorities.

Analysis of Minority Media in Montenegro

This chapter examines the position of national minority media in this country and its role in informing citizens. The research concludes that certain Montenegrin minorities are rather passive and do not inform the wider public of their problems. Minority media rarely cover minority rights; rather they promote the culture of a particular minority group.

Third Section

The third section of the book provides a set of recommendations based on the research conducted. These recommendations principally involve legislative changes, increasing public awareness of national minorities, increasing the level of professionalism in majority and minority media, equipping media professionals with the knowledge of minority languages and increasing the frequency/quality of collaboration between media and national minority associations. A set of country-specific recommendations applicable to each of the four countries part of this research is also provided. Combining both specific and general recommendations better informs the reader of the multi-faceted problems and potential solutions for minority media in these countries and the Western Balkan region.
Document type
  • Other


Publication Year


Davor Marko (Ed.)
Geographical focus
  • General/no specific focus
Scientifc field / Thematic focus
  • Social Sciences

Entry created by Desiree Pecarz on September 5, 2013
Modified on September 5, 2013