Publication Date: December 2017
Research and Editorial Team: Marija Vukasović; Svetozar Raković
Chronicle of Attacks and Pressures against Journalists in 2018

Physical assaults are just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to safety and security of journalists and media outlets: in an accurate manner, this Chronicle goes beyond the physical dimension of attacks and covers diverse forms of control and influence:

  • Safety and Security of Journalists: the document clearly shows that, “although Serbia has achieved some progress in this area”, the number of attacks remains worryingly high.
  • Political, economic, and other pressures on journalists and other media professionals: not only cases of administrative harassment, but also intimidation, labelling by public officials, prohibition from reporting from public events and discrimination.
  • Pressures on journalists through court proceedings: here the focus is on the increased number of claims filed by public officials against media and journalists “critical of the work of the Serbian Government and its officials”. 
  • Breaches of the Code of journalists: the document observes that “the trend of disregarding of ethical rules prescribed by the Journalists’ Code of Ethics continued in 2018”.
  • Media reform: this part addresses the so called ‘Co-financing of public interest in public information’ - supposedly aimed at assuring a balanced competition among contenders - highlighting the “favoring of media outlets inclined towards the authorities”. 
  • Regulatory Body for Electronic Media: here the Chronicle questions the independence of the Regulatory Authority for Electronic Media from centres of power and its transparency, underlining that “alarming influences could weaken the structure of its governing body through the appointment of members considered close to the ruling party”, namely the Serbian Progressive Party led by Aleksandar Vučić.

Just in 2018, “NUNS recorded a total of 31 cases of physical attacks, threats, and intimidation of journalists and other media professional, including 7 physical attacks, and 24 cases of verbal threats and intimidation”.

Tags: Media freedom Freedom of expression Media ownership Media pluralism Media capture

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