The Independent Journalists’ Association of Serbian (NUNS) called its members to maintain the highest professional levels while informing the public about the coronavirus pandemic.
The NUNS said that journalists have to inform and educate the public about all aspects of this disease and ways to protect themselves.
It added that its members should adhere strictly to the Serbian Journalists’ Code and not fall victim to rumors and information which has not been checked, take statements from experts, protect the privacy of people infected with the SARS-CoV-2 coronavirus and take care what they say and write because “sometimes just one wrong word can cause panic”.
The press release called media owners and editors to abide strictly by all decrees and recommendations from the authorities and make sure their staff are safe.
The NUNS warned that the authorities should not impose censorship during the state of emergency nor limit the right to free speech but should take special care to the publishing of lies, hate speech and party propaganda. The NUNS said that its offices would be closed during the state of emergency with staff coming in when needed and communication would be via phone and online.
The Serbian authorities imposed a state of emergency across the country on Sunday, March 15 calling the population to stay at home to help stop the spread of the SARS-CoV-2 coronavirus. A curfew (8:00 pm to 5:00 am) was announced on Tuesday evening starting on Wednesday, March 18 with a ban on movement for anyone over the age of 65 in urban areas and over the age of 70 in rural areas.