Information about B92


Radio B92 was founded on May 15, 1989. Broadcasting youth radio programme from a room not larger than 15 square meters and covering only the wider area of downtown Belgrade, Radio B92 quickly took the position of one of the leading representatives of independent journalism. When Slobodan Milosevic came to power, B92 was criticizing hate speech and became one of the few free media outlets. Ceaseless fighting with Milosevic's regime, criticism of violence and intolerance, were combined with civil, antiwar and humanitarian campaigns. During the resulting guerrilla struggle, B92 was shut down four times.

The first two bans were imposed after the station's unbiased reporting on mass demonstrations against the government in 1991 and 1996 and both were lifted within days in response to massive pressure from the domestic public and the international community.

As the repression grew, so did the solidarity of the media. B92 is one of the founders of the Association of Independent Electronic Media (ANEM). In the beginning of 1997, the Association had around thirty member stations, forming an increasingly effective resistance to the stifling of the freedom of speech.

In October 1998, before the Kosovo war, Milosevic's regime increased the pressure and passed the restrictive Law on Public Information, intending to silence and eliminate critical voices. The beginning of the bombing was used to strike at the most defiant ones. B92 and several other stations in ANEM's network were shut down. A new management was illegally appointed by the then government. The employees refused to cooperate with the new management. They continued to send information to listeners from their homes, using an internet server in Amsterdam.

After the end of NATO bombing, thanks to the frequency leased from Belgrade's Studio B, the original team of B92 returned to the air as Radio B2-92. By the end of 1999, Radio B2-92 had restored its full program schedule, and the television and film division had again begun producing current affairs programs, covering news in the capital for the ANEM Television Network.

In May 2000, B92 was again banned from the Belgrade airwaves when the Serbian Government illegally took over Studio B. However, within 24 hours, B92 journalists were able to send information from Belgrade, using the Internet and satellite, to ANEM affiliates and other partners in the region. Thanks to the strong solidarity, B92's news was available in this way to at least sixty per cent of the population of Yugoslavia and many more internet users worldwide.

Partly illegal operation in extremely difficult conditions continued until the democratic changes of October 2000, when the employees of B92 managed to return to the premises which they had been forced to leave a year and a half earlier, and to continue broadcasting on their old frequency: 92.5 Mhz. At the same time, TV B92 was launched in Belgrade.

During a decade and a half of operation, B92 has grown to become a media company consisting of a radio and television station, a web page, an internet service provider, video and film production, a cultural center, a publishing house, a music label and a concert agency.

B92's importance and influence have already been the subject of a book, while a film about the company has been recently announced.

Over the years, B92's steadfast advocacy of professionalism and media networking, as well as of protection of human rights, especially the right to free speech, has been recognized in a number of important international and local awards.