N1 reporter under fire over polling station incident

NEWS 18.12.2018 21:49
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Source: N1

An N1 reporter covering the local elections in the western Serbian town of Lucani has come under criticism following an incident at one of the polling stations.

Reporter Dusan Mladjenovic was video recorded by an alleged journalist at a polling station in the village of Kotraz. An excerpt from the video shows an opposition activist trying to grab the phone being used to video the N1 crew with Mladjenovic in the background.  

That five second excerpt drew fierce criticism saying that Mladjenovic did not even react to a “fellow journalist” being attacked. Several people tweeted that he should have stood up for the other journalist and claimed that N1 was on the side of the opposition who want violence. Serbia’s internal affairs minister identified the man as a reporter for a local news portal.

The opposition activist was arrested.  

Mladjenovic said events preceded the incident. “From the moment we got to Kotraz, two men videoed us, first the N1 car and then me as I got out of the car. I asked who they were and who they were working for and they started to walk away but I followed. An activist of the Alliance for Serbia came up to the man, swiped at the camera. We learned later that the man had videoed everyone who was there,” he said.  

The man with the camera ha sbeen identified as Nikola Stoilkovic who did not have a press card in Lucani. He once worked for the Pancevac newspaper as a photographer and was appointed to head the local tourism organization in the town of Pancevo. His Facebook profile shows that he is a wedding photographer who has ties to the Serbian Progressive Party (SNS). What isn’t clear is why he would travel from Pancevo outside Belgrade in Vojvodina to Lucani in western Serbia and why he recorded every person who was in the area around the polling station.