The independent unions of journalists in Serbia and Vojvodina (NUNS and NDNV) said on Tuesday that the Belgrade-based Ilustrovana Politika weekly latest cover page was “a call for lynching the independent media and journalists and all those who criticise the regime,” the Beta news agency reported.
The headline in the weekly reads “Dogs are unleashed,” and the unions have said both the headline and the content of the article are equivalent to an open hunt season on independent media.
“It is frightening that this weekly has been spreading hatred and intolerance by branding professional journalists traitors and foreign spies, thus drawing a target on their forehead,” the unions’ statement said.
It has added it is even more upsetting since the weekly is state-owned and that a member of its Supervision Board is a member of President Aleksandar Vucic’s cabinet.
Serbia has been under scrutiny for what the international institutions see as lack of freedom of media and expression, the two criteria of great importance in the accession talks with the European Union.
The opposition and civil society activists in Serbia assert that some tabloids and other newspapers, as well as some TV channels, including those with the national frequencies, are too close to the regime.