Pro-regime TV airs video alleging anti-Vucic conspiracy by journalists

NEWS 10.01.2022 19:19
porodica Vučić
Source: printscreen/TV Pink

The pro-regime TV Pink aired a video authored by an activist of the ruling Serbian progressive Party (SNS) which alleged that a number of journalists were conspiring with so-called tycoons to overthrow President Aleksandar Vucic.

The 20+ minute video, announced as a documentary, consisted mainly of allegations and offensive remarks about independent media and journalists as well as opposiiton politicians and business people not affiliated with the authorities. The main contention of the video was that all the people named in it were conspiring against Vucic and his family which, according to author Tomislav Lovrekovic, means that they want to destroy Serbia. Lovrekovic is known to the public as the SNS activist who interrupted an open air event by opposition leader Marinika Tepic by throwing a live chicken at her.

TV Pink openly sides with the authorities, frequently giving prime time slots to state and ruling party officials but not to the opposition who are frequently portrayed as thieves who robbed the Serbian people while they were in power.

Branko Cecen, Director of the Center for Investigative Journalism of Serbia (CINS), told N1 that he was upset and was deeply uneasy while watching the video which named him as one of the people conspiring against Vucic. “The only way I can interpret this is as preparation for a much greater repression against every critic of the authorities including journalists,” he said. According to him, “it’s one thing for an unknown and unimportant person to make 20 minutes of madness and quite another for a TV station with national coverage to air in a prime time slot”. He recalled that the video was aired twice, the second time with studio guests saying that they agree with its message, adding that it was featured in other pro-regime media.

“This is a witch-hunt whose end I can’t see but I am very much upset about the whole thing,” Cecen said, warning that the situation was becoming dangerous.

That view was shared by NewsMax Adria CEO Slobodan Georgiev. According to that journalist who has been attacked by state and ruling party officials on a number of times, the was a call to a lynching.

Veran Matic, executive director of the Association of Independent Electronic Media (ANEM) said that the video violated Serbia’s media laws and warned that it endangered Cecen, Georgiev and KRIK investigative network chief Stevan Dojcinovic all of who were named in it.

“The video aired during the National News show on TV Pink does not deserve to be on the air of a station with national coverage. Counter to media laws, this film is, at the very least, an open call for the lynching of fellow journalists Branko Cecen, Stevan Dojcinovic and Slobodan Georgiev,” Matic told a meeting of officials of journalists’ and media organizations with officials from the Prime Minister’s cabinet and Culture and Information Ministry.

“Putting them in danger because of their professionalism is unacceptable and deserves condemnation. Drawing a target on anyone is impermissible,” Matic said, adding that he fears the consequences. “This case is not an incident because it includes the constant content of very influential media over a long period and part of the views of leading state officials. The consequences so far have been drastic physical assaults, the killing of journalists, law suits which prevent them from doing their jobs,” he said and warned that the video is an introduction to a terrible election campaign.