An official of the Reporters Without Frontiers (RSF) organization has warned that hate speech is much more present in the media in Serbia than in any other country of the region.
The RSF head of the Balkans desk Pauline Ades-Mevel told Belgrade daily Danas that the she met with representatives of other media freedom organizations who agreed that the media situation in the country is bad. “I met with top representatives of organizations working on media freedoms and we agreed that the situation in the media in Serbia is much worse than in other Balkan countries. The level of hate speech is concerning and journalists are humiliated increasingly frequently and we have to condemn that,” Ades-Medel said.
She said the meeting also discussed Predrag Koraksic’s recent caricature portraying Adolf Hitler and his propaganda chief Joseph Goebbels nursing two officials of the ruling Serbian Progressive Party (SNS) which has drawn fierce reactions from the authorities, including the Ministry of Culture.
“Although President Aleksandar Vucic claims that the caricature published on the front page of Danas is an example of freedom of speech, that he respects it, that he advocates media freedom and rule of law, not a week goes by without a journalist in Serbia being insulted, attacked or humiliated by state officials,” she said.
The RSF official condemned the reactions by the authorities and added that her organization is drafting a comment on the state of the media in Serbia for European Commissioner Johannes Hahn.