Speakers at Thursday’s meeting on investigative journalism said that the Serbian authorities really are involved in the number of affairs that have been made public.
Insajder investigative news portal editor Brankica Stankovic said that journalism serves the public interest, adding that journalists can’t do the jobs of judges and prosecutors but can reveal corruption and other abuses of power. She said that Insajder publishes only documented information. Stankovic said Insajder had more influence when it was set up 15 years ago than all the investigative media combined today.
The head of KRIK (Crime and Corruption Investigative Network) Stevan Dojcinovic told the gathering that news stories today can’t force the authorities to do anything but will be remembered as a testimony of the times. He said that many things would remain unknown to the public if they had not been reported by journalists.
BIRN editor Slobodan Georgiev said that his staff are afraid of making a mistake, adding that the main problem now is that the authorities are treating them like political enemies which was not the case up to 2012. According to him, the situation is some countries is worse than in Serbia where the authorities still haven’t gotten to the point that they would send someone to kill a journalist but recalled several burglaries of journalists’ apartments.
The gathering was attended by ruling Serbian Progressive Party (SNS) senior official Vladimir Djukanovic.