Politics and Media

Media in Kosovo shares common challenges including political interference in public television, self-censorship due to economic and political pressures, and attacks on journalists. These attacks often go unpunished and lack due process. 

The Constitution safeguards media freedom via Articles 40 and 42, while laws adopted by the Assembly, in partnership with civil society and international stakeholders, regulate media functions. Although certain aspects like Source Protection, Defamation, Whistleblower Protection, and Access to Public Documents are addressed, gaps remain in media financing, ownership, public broadcasting, and legal status. 

The Independent Media Commission is Kosovo's primary regulatory body for broadcast media, appointed by the Assembly. The Assembly also selects members of the supervisory board of the public broadcaster, impacting RTK's governance and budget. This arrangement allows ruling parties to influence the broadcaster's operations, often hindering opposition party nominees. The EU Progress Report emphasizes the need to enhance the implementation of laws for an independent and effective judiciary, vital for media freedom. RTK's funding issue remains unsolved, resulting in dependency on the Assembly and political influence. This hampers its independence and sustainability. 

In July 2022, the EU Parliament highlighted the rise of substantial investments that have increased private sector influence over media. This influence has extended to both commercial and political ‘blackmail’. Political influence over the media is evident through editorial policies that display bias towards both the incumbent government and opposition parties. These influences manifest in various ways, notably through the utilisation of media coverage to target political figures. However, the government faces limitations in effectively engaging with the media.

The media landscape is characterised by a significant pattern, where a substantial amount of content originates from political TV debates. The commentary and discussions within TV studios subsequently evolve into news articles on online media, distributed widely through social media channels. This phenomenon contributes to a self-perpetuating cycle, where news is often framed through the viewpoints of politically biased pundits. This cycle gains momentum as these perspectives are further propagated and extensively debated on social media platforms. Consequently, the news ecosystem becomes intertwined, with TV debates fueling online media, thus intensifying political discussions on social media. This interconnected nature not only shapes the content of media but also wields influence over public opinion and the broader political discourse.

  • Project by
    Global Media Registry
    Funded by European Union