Serbian media organization protests European Commission decision on Tanjug

NEWS 30.11.2021 20:47
Source: N1

The Coalition for Media Freedom protested the inclusion of the Tanjug agency in the European Commission’s plans to form a European Newsdesk.

Tanjug was the official state news agency of Yugoslavia with a history dating back to WW2. It was officially removed from the Serbian Business Business Registers Agency’s registry of media and was supposed to close down in 2015 but continued to operate and receive budget funds before being privatized five years later.

The Coalition said in a press release that Tanjug is known to cooperate closely with the ruling structures in Serbia. “Besides enjoying a privileged position when budget funds are distributed, Tanjug has been operating for years contrary to a Serbian government decree,” it said and added that the privately-owned Tacno company which is owned by singer Zeljko Joksimovic was given a 10 year concession to use the Tanjug brand.

The Coalition asked why the European Commission is prepared to work with Tanjug which has been caught publishing false information benefiting politicians and parties instead of true reports benefiting the public. It also asked why the European Commission is financing an agency which takes part in witch hunts against opponents of the authorities and has demeaned professional and ethical standards.

It called for a review of the decision to include Tanjug in the European Newsdesk.

The Coalition are: the Association of Media, Association of Online Media (AOM), Independent Society of Journalists of Vojvodina (NDNV), Independent Journalists Association of Serbia (NUNS), The Business Association of Local and Independent Media Lokal Press and the Slavko Curuvija Foundation.