The Association of Journalists of Serbia (UNS) accused the Zurich District Court and the United Group of hiding the facts of the court’s ruling in favor of United Group co-owner Dragan Solak in a law suit for slander and lies against the pro-regime TV Pink, Studio B and the Informer tabloid.
The UNS also questioned the professionalism of United Group TV stations, claiming that they reported a United Group press release about the ruling without seeing the ruling itself. The whole thing added oil to the fire in an orchestrated campaign by pro-regime media, drawing attention away from the Swiss Court ruling which said that the sued media lied.
The rival Independent Journalists’ Association of Serbia (NUNS) said that the whole thing was a spin. The UNS drew attention to the reports of the court ruling against the pro-regime media not because those media violated the rules of journalism but because the ruling itself was not published despite the fact that the Swiss Court warned that this was a civil suit and that its publication would be in violation of regulations to protect personal data. The UNS insisting that something was being hidden was used by the pro-regime media the court ruled against to play down the ruling.
TV Pink and Studio B said that the Zurich District Court refused to grant the UNS access to the ruling, claiming that this was just more proof that N1 was lying. The UNS added even more oil to the fire with its criticism that N1 was signed as the source of the United Group statement despite the fact that it was clearly designated as a press release just as any other press release.
UNS President Vladimir Radomirovic would not budge: “N1 is acting like a mouthpiece for the United Group and the interests of the owner must not affect the reporting of media outlets”. He added: “The headline here is Swiss Court said something and you did not have insight into what the court said”.
NUNS President Zeljko Bodrozic responded saying that he was surprised by the fact that someone was insisting on the entire court ruling about “so-called media when we in the journalist and media associations know how many problems they created”. He added that this is a spin. “We are now debating whether the ruling was published in full or not instead of dealing with our problem – the fact that some media, that is so-called media, have gone wild, that society has gone mad because of the behavior of some of the people in those so-called media that our polluting our public daily,” he said.
UNS Honor Court President Ljiljana Smajlovic said that she was disappointed in N1. “This is a ruling decided in court with only one side represented and I am truly disappointed in N1 and Nova,” she said in a live appearance on Nova S. Contrary to that claim, notes exchanged between the Serbian Justice Ministry and Zurich District Court prove that the summons to appear in court were served on the media that were sued.