N1 is a thorn in the regime's eye, experts, journalists agree

N1 is a thorn in the regime's eye, experts, journalists agree

N1 is a thorn in the regime's eye, experts, journalists agree Izvor: N1

Since it started broadcasting news programme over five years ago, N1 TV along with its website became a thorn in Serbia's regime's eye because of its independence from the authorities and unbiased reporting, journalists and experts say.

Used to its fawning media across the board, the regime, including top officials like President Aleksandar Vucic, and down to the small apparatchik don't miss a chance to say something wrong, ugly and untrue information about N1.

Starting from describing N1 as "an American TV," "a CIA TV," and alike to threats on social media to its staff, throwing insulting leaflets into the headquarter's backyard and distributing them throughout the city.

Besides, the majority of the regime representatives prevents N1 from reporting 'from the other side' by rejecting repeated calls for comments or taking parts in talk shows, banning it from reporting even from public events or posting questions at news conferences.

As all of that isn't enough, the United Group's SBB cable provider and United Media which N1 is a part of must continuously fight for the market share in unfair conditions where, often illegally, the state Telekom Serbia is privileged.

The latest attempt by that state company was to deprive a million viewers in the country of watching N1, Sport Klub and some other United Media channels.

It simply did not want to extend the agreement, stating non-existant arguments by which it deceived the public of choosing what programme to watch and blaming United Media for own decisions.

Does this mean, as N1 reporter Maja Djuric asked in her report, that the state bans media and pluralism?

Independent journalists and experts agree that N1 disturbs the authorities. They all see a political background behind the state Telkom's decision and its refusal of United Media's offers.

Their comments vary from "one day the only the networks reporting in a manner of the "Orwell's Ministry of Truth,' will be available;" to "there is something else besides money. And it is particularly interesting ahead of the spring general elections," and "the independence of the players and pluralism are disturbing and should somehow be put under control and eventually shut down," "political and every other monopoly, in media, in economy – nothing else and no one else except us should exist."

Many agree that no one is free if they don't know the truth about what is going on around them. Without relevant information, people can't make their choice in life as well as in elections.

Taming the media can temporarily help to preserve power, but that, like anything else, doesn't last forever.  

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