N1 Serbia news director: State officials carry out campaign against N1

Source: N1

N1 Serbia programme director Jugoslav Cosic said on Wednesday he understood all the threats to the television and its staff very seriously, “especially they come from the state officials.”

Cosic told the Danas daily in an interview he would address all relevant international institutions, adding  N1’s legal team was preparing charges against all those who called for a lynch of N1 journalists.

The attacks and threats followed N1 coverage of the #1 in 5 million protest during which the demonstrators entered the state RTS TV building. Some members of Serbia’s Government described reporting as “scandalous,” “hypocritical” and “anti-civilisation,” the daily said.

“A strong, orchestrated campaign against N1 has been conducted. It directly jeopardises the safety of our journalists what is the most tragic (consequence) in the whole story. When such campaigns are launched the results are impossible to predict. Unfortunately, the experience says they always lead to the physical endangerment of the journalists’ safety,” Cosic said.

He added he saw the campaign as aiming to discourage the journalists from doing their job professionally.

“The media exist to do exactly what we are doing – to cover the events and report on them. The accusations saying we support violence and protests only because we are doing our job is just red herring,” Cosic said.

He added that N1 had been receiving hundreds of threats daily and said they wouldn’t stop as long as the state campaign against the television was underway.

“We will inform the OSCE, European Commission, all negotiators with the European Union related to media issues, the EU Rapporteur for Serbia, The Commissioner for Enlargement, European Federation of Journalists and Reporters Without Borders,” Cosic added.