Production Group Mreza is an independent media production outlet with over 20 year-long operations committed to respecting and promoting the utmost professional journalistic and ethical standards. From its outset in November 1997, PG Mreza has distinguished itself by the quality of its TV programs, documentaries, educational media packages and workshops. Today, PG Mreza occupies an important and prominent position in the Serbian media landscape, affirmed by the numerous awards that the PG Mreza team received for their work. PG Mreza is recognized as an envoy of the highest professional standards and values in the country as well as in the region. It has never abandoned those principles even during the turbulent events that have marked the history of Serbia and our region over the past two decades. Today, PG Mreza has more than 30 permanent and honorary employees, from the list of renowned editors, journalists and associates: Lila Radonjic as chief editor, Olja Beckovic, Maja Divac, Vladimir Milic, Snezana Stojadinovic, Dusan Gajic, Rade Rankovic, Biljana Djogic, Boban Trajkovic and so on.
For the past twenty years, PG Mreza has produced a large number of TV programs and documentary series and films that were broadcast on domestic national and local TV stations, as well as in the programs of regional TV stations. Reporting on current political, economic and social issues is predominantly in the focus of PG Mreza programs, as they deal with topics crucial for the development of democracy, protection of fundamental human rights, protection of sensitive and endangered groups of society, anticorruption, promotion of tolerance, multiculturalism, gender equality, increasing civic participation in society, understanding of various social and economic trends, European integration and so on.
PGM’s programs have very high ratings. They have been awarded prizes on international and domestic TV festivals („The Golden Olive“ at the Bar Festival; the Belgrade Documentary Film Festival; the TV Reportage Festival in Sombor). PGM journalists are winners of prestigious journalistic awards.
The most important programs of PG Mreza are:
– TV Mreza, a collage-style 30-minute program dealing with the most topical political and economic issues, as well as with the problems of transition, society reform, corruption, security matters, media, social phenomenon, etc. TV Mreza is on air since 1997, while as of 2001, it is broadcast on the second channel of the Serbian public service broadcaster RTS in its prime time.
– Impression of the week, one of the most famous and highest-rated talk shows in Serbia, hosted by Olja Beckovic. It was aired on B92 (now O2) until 2014, but has been cancelled by the decision of the TV B92 management, made under the strong political influence.
– Evronet, a short daily program (5 minutes) bringing clear examples and concrete answers to the most various questions from all fields of European integration to the audience. Evronet points to what it is necessary to harmonize and change in order to meet European standards. It was broadcast in the period from 2005 until 2014 on RTS.
PG Mreza is also the creator and author of numerous documentary series such as “My first vote”, “Generation 95”, “I have to say”, “Right to media”, “Court in Strasbourg – 10 cases”, “Eurozona”, “Openly on Kosovo”, “PG Mreza on NATO”, “the Crew”, “Young muffled voices, “House on the road”, “Transition in the region”, “Yugoslav Army”, “…while I live in Serbia”, “White slave trade” etc.
With the expansion of the Internet and digital media, PG Mreza has adapted its programs to online platforms, and in that regard, in recent years, has made efforts to find an adequate place in the digital media world. Commitment to promoting its audiovisual programs on the Internet, on its website and on YouTube channel, as well as to the promotion of its programs via social networks, has been particularly intensified since mid-2014, when two program series were (abruptly) taken off the air on national TV stations – Impression of the week on TV B92, and Evronet on RTS.
In addition to broadcasting on TV stations, all current PG Mreza programs are aired on the web platform. In 2016, PG Mreza produced, for the first time, a program series that was only posted via the web – „I have to say“, a series of productions that can be viewed on PG Mreza website and on the YT channel. It can be said that PG Mreza has made progress it this area in recent years, but due to its modest means and technical limitations, it has not been able to achieve the desired progress. For this reason, one of the major goals of PG Mreza in 2018 and 2019 is to increase its presence and its offer in the online media space.
Media education is deemed a crucial part of PG Mreza conduct. In 2008, as a separate project, PG Mreza founded the TV Academy, with the task to be a media educational hub training journalists for working on television and web journalism. TV Academy has since than conducted a large number of trainings and seminars of media professionals for local media in Serbia, TV journalists and editors, especially focusing on in-house trainings in TV stations in Serbia. From the beginning, the TV Academy has established a strong collaboration with the Faculty of Media and Communication and the Faculty of Political Sciences in Belgrade. The variety of seminars and training curricula encompass practical work on TV formats in reporting on current affairs and topics of great importance for the audience, aiming to meet the primary goal – independent work of journalists in line with professional and investigative journalistic work. A large number of trainings were realized in TV stations that were focused on reporting on the judiciary, human rights and ecology.
TV Academy is composed of editors and journalists of PG Mreza, authors with long experience in production of TV programs highly experienced in education of journalists in TV and web journalism. Lecturers, mentors and trainers of the TV Academy are editors and journalists of PG Mreza, renowned program authors with many years of experience in the production of television programs, as well as working with students of journalism and journalism beginners: Lila Radonjic, Olja Beckovic, Maja Divac, Snezana Stojadinovic, Vladimir Milic, Dusan Gajic and Vladan Radosavljevic
In its conduct, PG Mreza has established a long-standing cooperation with a large number of partners, key actors, stakeholders, competent authorities and organizations, including (but not limited to):
- Belgrade Fund for Political Excellence
- Belgrade Center for Security Policy
- European Movement in Serbia
- Center for Democracy Foundation
- Humanitarian Right Foundation
- World Bank
- European Agency for Reconstruction
- Foundation Heinrich Böll
- Open Society Foundation
- Ministry of Culture and Information of the Republic of Serbia etc.
A valuable contribution to the successful work of PG Mreza has been made by the US government through its Embassy in Belgrade and the European Union through the EU Delegation to Serbia within its programs, recognizing PG Mreza as a valuable partner in the Serbian media landscape in creating a more favorable media situation through quality media content, in accordance with the highest standards of investigative journalism, but also a key player in safeguarding of fundamental media rights and freedoms.
INTERNATIONAL DOCUMENTARY FILM FESTIVAL „GOLDEN OLIVE“ IN BAR, MONTENEGRO
Snezana Stojadinovic and Vladimir Milic for the film One Day in Life
DOCUMENTARY FILM FESTIVAL IN BELGRADE
Best picture editing award for the film A Look over the Gun – Irena Petricic Dimitrijevic
TV REPORTAGE FESTIVAL IN SOMBOR
Grand Prix of the festival and first prize for TV reportage – Vladimir Milic
EUROPEAN INTEGRATION OFFICE OF THE GOVERNMENT OF SERBIA
Several awards won in the period 2007-2011 for the best TV feature on European integration
SERBIAN ARMY AWARDS FOR REPORTING
MINISTRY OF LABOR AND SOCIAL POLICY
TV series on LGBT population has been awarded with the prize at the Competition for contribution to raising awareness of the public on unacceptable sexual and gender based violence – Adam Santovac and Sandra Babic
REGIONAL FESTIVAL PRESS VITEZ 2012
Special award for excellence in journalism
Boban Trajkovic awarded for miniature „Education of two worlds“
Strategic goals, mission and vision
In recent years, Serbia is faced with the collapse of media freedom, according to the analysis of international organizations that monitor the freedom of expression and information throughout the world is testament, besides the representatives of the journalistic profession and the media industry in Serbia. This is confirmed by research carried out by organizations such as Reporters Without Borders (according to the World Press Freedom Index – in 2017, Serbia has dropped from 59th to 66th position in media freedom, the report states that: „Media freedom has declined ever since Aleksandar Vucic, Slobodan Milosevic’s former information minister, became prime minister in May 2014,“ RSF noted), Freedom House – Srbija was marked as “partly free”.
Media outlets, based on investigative and impartial journalism, were thrown out of the media space, only to be replaced by media involved in the propaganda and representation of the political ideas of the ruling party. In this context, the work of independent TV productions, as well as all other independent media, became very difficult, which, in the case of PG Mreza, means that it faces difficulties in placing media content, both at national and local TV stations. Due to the inability to broadcast its programs on TV stations, PG Mreza is focusing its activities on the following goals in the following three years:
- Developing PG Mreza online platform – strengthening its technical and content potentials, in order to achieve high visibility and enable placing high-quality media content available to a wider audience, as a counterweight to the current audiovisual media offer, based on sensationalism, a tabloid approach to journalism and instant entertainment
- Developing a sustainable business model – in this process, PG Mreza intends to work on increasing presence of its audiovisual content on its web portal and other digital online platforms as well as developing its business model that will enable economic sustainability in creating and placing audiovisual online content.
To that end, PG Mreza will work on developing a sustainable action plan in order to secure financial support from other donors and all relevant partners and stakeholders interested in creating better media and social environment and supporting more active involvement of media, citizens and authorities in this endeavor. To ensure institutional sustainability, PG Mreza, together with other partners in the sector, is constantly working on new strategies for institutional development, evaluating needs and environmental conditions in order to improve the chances to maximize the impact of its activities and provide targeted audience and groups with beneficial programs. PG Mreza also invests in a constant innovation and learning, commitment of its staff and their best integration into the company’s goals. With all this, PG Mreza will take upon a task of looking into new projects and program designs, align its resources and activities with the set priorities, map the potential partners with mutual key benefits established in the course of implementation of this action and develop possible strategies to ensure a reliable source of support. Mutual cooperation with key actors and stakeholders in the industry is essential, as their participation and interconnection provides for essential visibility and reach.
- Placement of quality and socially relevant media content – in addition to its own programs prepared by Mreza team, in the course of 2018 and following years, close cooperation with the editorial boards of research online portals is planned, with the aim to produce versions for broadcasting on traditional media, out of their research stories that are now only available online in the form of articles. The aim is to popularize quality media content created on the principles of investigative journalism, which is completely undermined in Serbia today and limited to a small number of online portals, thus not being able to reach a large number of population and audience. Also, a similar type of cooperation, which will result in the production of media content on the subject of democratic citizen participation, was planned in 2019 with civil society organizations through a joint application for support from available European funds.
- Strengthening Local Media – the goal of PG Mreza is to make all media content produced in the above manner available to a group of local independent TV stations and online portals that respect high professional and ethical standards in their work.
- Strengthening Regional Media Cooperation – PG Mreza will make all endeavors to carry out all necessary preparatory steps in 2018 to re-strengthen co-operation with regional media of similar orientation, in order to create a platform for the efficient and easy exchange of information and media content relevant to all countries in the Western Balkans. Over the past decade, PG Mreza has established a remarkable cooperation with TV productions and TV stations in the region through various projects. PG Mreza broadcasts were regularly aired in Montenegro, as well as at local stations in Bosnia and Herzegovina. In the first decade of the new millennium, PG Mreza, together with TV productions from Bosnia and Herzegovina and Croatia, launched the regional series „Young Muffled Voices“, which was dedicated to the values and ideas of younger generations. Within the various forms of regional cooperation, the following programs were produced: the documentary series „Lexicon“, which was also dedicated to youth issues and which was broadcast on the Federal Television of Bosnia and Herzegovina and Radio Television of Serbia; the „Transition in the Region“ series analyzed the transition process in Albania, Hungary, Slovenia and Macedonia; the series „The role of the Yugoslav Army“ in the disintegration of former Yugoslavia was made with the help of local media from Bosnia and Herzegovina, Slovenia, Croatia, etc.
- Media education – Another important goal of PG Mreza will be to continue with its educational workshops realized within the TV Academy, organized for students, for young journalists, newsrooms, but also for all professionals who need training for media performance. TV journalism course, conducted by the TV Academy, was part of a regular compulsory curriculum at the Faculty of Media and Communication in Belgrade from 2010 to 2016.