News agencies

Serbia has three national news agencies: state-run agency Tanjug, and private agencies Beta and FoNet.

State news agency Tanjug is still producing news and receiving money from the budget even though the government closed it down in October 2015 (in accordance with Article 146 of the Law on Public Information and Media) after failing to find a private buyer. In December 2017, responding to Grupa za slobodu medija (the Group for Media Freedom), which had demanded that the Tanjug cease operations, Serbian PM Ana Brnabic said the best solution was being sought for the national news agency that would fulfil the public interest of the citizens to the largest extent.

Tanjug was established by the resistance movement to fascist occupation of Yugoslavia in 1943. During its peak in the 1970s, Tanjug ranked among the top 10 largest news agencies in the world and disposed with a network of 48 correspondents abroad out of more than 900 employees. With the breakup of Yugoslavia in the 1990s, Tanjug lost its significance and its credibility. Based in Belgrade, it was put under control of Serbian authorities and became a propaganda tool of Slobodan Milosevic’s regime.

Private news agencies Beta and FoNet were established in 1994. They enjoy a reputation as independent and credible sources for citizens. Their market position is not favourable however, since they have to compete with the government-supported Tanjug, they are not paid regularly for the services rendered, and many small outlets simply copy and paste content from news agencies.