NUNS researcher says Serbian journalists still under pressure

Source: N1

A researcher for the Independent Journalists’ Association of Serbia (NUNS) said on Tuesday that the pandemic and ensuing state of emergency caused a rise in the number of reported cases of attacks on journalists.

Rade Djuric, a lawyer and NUNS researcher, told a debate on freedom of the media that the state of emergency imposed at the start of the pandemic by the Serbian authorities had an immediate effect on journalists as did the economic crisis caused by the pandemic. He said that “the sudden lack of transparency” also had a direct effect on journalists as in the example of portal reporter Ana Lalic who was arrested for reporting on the Vojvodina Clinical Center during the state of emergency. He said that also brought pressure to bear on sources.

According to Djuric, the situation worsened when reporters were banned from attending news conferences by the government’s crisis response team in April 2020.

The position of journalists remains unchanged this year but we won’t know if that is because of the pandemic or if the state of emergency had a negative effect following several bad years for journalists, he said. The worst situation was during last year’s demonstrations in July when journalists came under pressure with some getting beaten.