European Commission denies inviting Tanjug to join European Newsdesk

NEWS 02.12.2021 20:12
Source: N1

Sources in the European Commission told a Serbian investigative portal on Thursday that the EC did not select the pro-regime Tanjug news agency for the European Newsdesk.

The European Commission said earlier this week that it would help set up a European Newsdesk with a number of national news agencies, including the recently privatized Tanjug which was supposed to have been shut down under a government decree several years ago. Tanjug continued operating with state funding and was heavily criticized for its biased reporting before the name brand was sold to a private company with close ties to the authorities.

The Raskrinkavanje portal was told by the sources that the European Commission had nothing to do with the selection of news agencies to from the European Newsdesk. “Some news agencies decide to put forward a joint proposal and included partners that they believed were relevant to get European Union support,” the sources said adding that the decision was a private initiative.

The European Newsdesk will get some 1.8 million Euro a year. The proposal is to include Tanjug as well as DPA, AFP, ANSA, APA, Belga, EFE, Europa Press, TASR, STA, Agerpres, FENA, MIA, ATA and HINA.

The sources said that the European Commission invited proposals and offered financial aid to promote reporting on European affairs in different languages. The news agencies that applied said they would abide by the editorial policy of the European Newsdesk to guarantee independent and unbiased reporting with no influence from third parties.

The German DPA news agency said that the European Newsdesk will have standards which participating agencies have to to follow, adding that they can be expelled from the project. “We are convinced at this time, six months before the project begins, that Tanjug will abide by these principles,” DPA sources told Raskrinkavanje.