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Even without such clarifying collisions with its raw, unadorned progenitors in the real world, Kiš’s prose at its best creates a nimbus of the ideal – it is generated, exhaled, by the perfection of his style – which he sets against the dark materials of his novels and stories. One source of the impulse to write about Kiš was my fascination with the effects he achieved by working out his unflinching themes in such wrought and artful language. To write a biography of so transparently autobiographical a writer could seem an odd undertaking: a painstaking labour to decipher what is perfectly obvious or, even worse, irrelevant. For Kiš is the opposite of those writers who disguise the real-life originals of characters or events in their fiction—and whose biographers can therefore usefully, or at least amusingly, detect and map the connections. The interest, for Kiš and for his readers, was not who underlay his characters, but how they were changed by being “transposed” (a key verb in his critical vocabulary) into fiction. Asked about the resemblances between the family in his novel Garden, Ashes and his own family, Kiš said “I am convinced that it is me, that it’s my father, my mother, my sister—that they are us as we should have been” if history had not crushed them. The candour of that statement, with none of the coyness or showing-off that mar most interviews with writers, was characteristic.

Danilo Kiš and the soda siphon – by my Open Society Media Program colleague Mark Thompson, on his recent biography of Kiš, Birth Certificate.
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Without a robust legal and regulatory framework, institutionally protected public and private media and a politically and financially independent broadcast regulator and public service broadcaster, it will not be possible to meet the challenges of digitalization and harmonization with international standards, let alone create a free and vibrant media environment. […] There is also an urgent need for the state to completely withdraw from the media market and to foster an environment conducive to free media and safety of journalists. […] The case of journalist Laszlo Sass showed that there is a need to fully decriminalize defamation as the threat of criminal sanctions for speech offences has the potential to stifle public debate.

Without a robust legal and regulatory framework, institutionally protected public and private media and a politically and financially independent broadcast regulator and public service broadcaster, it will not be possible to meet the challenges of digitalization and harmonization with international standards, let alone create a free and vibrant media environment. […] There is also an urgent need for the state to completely withdraw from the media market and to foster an environment conducive to free media and safety of journalists. […] The case of journalist Laszlo Sass showed that there is a need to fully decriminalize defamation as the threat of criminal sanctions for speech offences has the potential to stifle public debate.

The aim of this paper is to systematize existing research on media reporting related to various aspects of citizenship, and to contribute with a primary analysis of media content, in order to define how the leading print media in four states (Bosnia and Herzegovina, Croatia, Montenegro, and Serbia) reported on these issues. After establishing the profile of each state, this paper provides a profile of the analysed media, followed by a short summary of how these media reported on selected citizenship-related issues and topics. The main trends in media reporting were analysed within an interdisciplinary theoretical framework that includes the selected approaches / theories in media and communication studies, but also the studies on citizenship. The main assumption is that the mass media in the states under scrutiny, while reporting on citizenship-related issues, have mostly legitimized governments in determining their citizenship policies. Only in Montenegro and, to some extent, in Croatia, when it comes to external voting, have oppositional media outlets continuously criticized the “official” citizenship policies, while in other states the leading media discourses lack a polemical and critical stance towards citizenship-related issues.

The aim of this paper is to systematize existing research on media reporting related to various aspects of citizenship, and to contribute with a primary analysis of media content, in order to define how the leading print media in four states (Bosnia and Herzegovina, Croatia, Montenegro, and Serbia) reported on these issues. After establishing the profile of each state, this paper provides a profile of the analysed media, followed by a short summary of how these media reported on selected citizenship-related issues and topics. The main trends in media reporting were analysed within an interdisciplinary theoretical framework that includes the selected approaches / theories in media and communication studies, but also the studies on citizenship. The main assumption is that the mass media in the states under scrutiny, while reporting on citizenship-related issues, have mostly legitimized governments in determining their citizenship policies. Only in Montenegro and, to some extent, in Croatia, when it comes to external voting, have oppositional media outlets continuously criticized the “official” citizenship policies, while in other states the leading media discourses lack a polemical and critical stance towards citizenship-related issues.