Death threats against Serbian journalists must be investigated

The European Federation of Journalists (EFJ) joins its affiliates – the Croatian Journalists’ Association, Association of Macedonian Journalists, Association of BiH Journalists, Association of Kosovo Journalists, Union of Montenegro Media and Independent Association of Serbian Journalists – to strongly condemn the brutal death threats against Nedim Sejdinović, President of Independent Association of Vojvodina Journalists (NDNV) and Dinko Gruhonjić, NDNV Program director. Threats were sent by anonymous letter to NDNV in Novi Sad (Serbia). The letter called on Sejdinović to resign as President of the Independent Association of Vojvodina Journalists if he and his colleague, Dinko Gruhonjić, do no want to “be found swimming in the Danube”. Hate…

Serbian authorities must investigate the murder of Luka Popov

The European Federation of Journalists (EFJ) today condemned the murder of radio journalist Luka Popov in Srpski Krstur, Serbia. The Journalists’ Association of Serbia (UNS) and the Independent Journalists Association of Serbia (NUNS), two EFJ affiliates, and the Journalists Association of Vojvodina (DNV) have urged the police to carry out a swift investigation of this murder. Luka Popov, 60 years old, journalist for local radio stations in Čoka and Novi Kneževac, was killed on 16 June in his home in Srpski Krstur. He was found dead by his brother, this morning. The EFJ joined the alert about this tragic event published on Mapping…

Europe follows worrying developments at the Radio Television of Vojvodina

UPDATE (01/06/2016) : Nada Kalkan, the new editor of RTV, is sending the EFJ the following statement : “That’s not true that journalists in RTV were layoffs. Previous program director was replaced and new director elected because the executive board was not satisfied. The general director and the editor-in-chief have resigned. Now, we have new a group of managers, nobody at RTV was dismissed or degraded and most of them have same salary and rested on editorial places.” Serbian media report that program director of RTV, Slobodan Arežina, was replaced, general director Srđan Mihajlović resigned under political pressure; 7 editors of news program…

Conference “Media Clientelism Index: Measuring the Reality”

Media Clientelism Index (MCI) is the first cross country comparative and country specific reporting on the state of media clientelism and politicisation based on empirical data. Experimental research, i.e. ground zero measuring of the Index was conducted in six countries of South eastern Europe (Republic of Croatia, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Montenegro, FYR of Macedonia, Republic of Serbia and Romania). The event is organised under the framework of Civil Response to Clientelism in Media – MEDIA CIRCLE project financed from the Instrument for Pre-accession Assistance by the European Union (IPA) Civil Society Facility (CSF), implemented by Partnership for Social Development (Croatia)…

Serbia sacks Minister of Defense for sexists remarks

The Minister of Defense in Serbia, Bratislav Gasic, was finally sacked following months of protests for his offensive remarks made towards a female journalist from B92 Television during a conference on 6 December. The European Federation of Journalists (EFJ) welcomes the decision although it was overdue. On 6 February, 195 members of the National Assembly of Serbia voted to replaced Gasic due to sexist remarks towards the journalist of TV B92. Following the incident, the EFJ affiliates (UNS, NUNS and SINOS) together with civil society organisations have been calling for Gasic to be sacked. However, journalists have organised several protests before the government finally made…

Serbian Minister remains in office after sexist remark

Over three hundred journalists and media workers have gathered on Monday (11/01/2015) in several towns in Serbia for the third time, calling for the dismissal of the Defence Minister, Bratislav Gasic, who made a sexist remark to a female reporter in December 2015. The protest named “Journalists do not kneel” occurred in front of the Serbian government building in Belgrade, as well as Novi Sad, Nis and several other cities. Back in December, the Prime Minister of Serbia, Aleksandar Vucic, announced that he will dismiss Gasic for his inappropriate remark following a series of protests from journalists. Yet Gasic is…

Serbian journalists protest to support B92 colleagues

Serbian journalists gathered on Monday evening (21/12/2015) in front of the Serbian government’s building to remind the Serbian prime minister Aleksandar Vucic about a promise he made 15 days ago. The prime minister made a public commitment to replace Bratislav Gasic, his minister of defense, due to the offensive statement made towards a female journalist. Mr Gasic sparked outrage after a journalist from B92 Television knelt down in front of him to avoid being in the way of cameras as he spoke to a group of reporters during a visit to a factory. The minister made the following offending comment: “I…

Serbian Defense Minister sacked for sexist remark

Serbian Prime Minister Aleksandar Vucic announced to replace the Minister of Defense, Bratislav Gasic, following an offensive remark he made on a female journalists  from  B92 Television during a conference on 6 December. Gasic sparked outrage after a journalist from B92 Television knelt down in front of him to avoid being in the way of cameras as he spoke to a group of reporters during a visit to a factory on Sunday. He commented: “I like these female journalists who kneel down so easily.” The EFJ affiates (UNS, NUNS and SINOS) in Serbia immediately reacted to Gasic’s remark and called for him to…

Serbia must avoid creating hostile environment for investigative journalists #BIRNunderFire

The European Federation of Journalists (EFJ) has received worrying reports concerning a smear campaign against independent and investigative journalists working for the Balkan Investigative Reporting Network (BIRN), the Centre for Investigative Journalist (CINS) and the Crime and Corruption Reporting Network (KRIK) in Serbia. According to BIRN Serbia, the Serbian Prime minister Aleksandar Vucic publicly supported “the theory that independent investigative centres in Serbia are paid by foreign donors to destabilise the government” and the prime minister “is using his position to dismiss opponents, qualifying them as mobsters, thieves and criminals despite no evidence or opportunity for them to defend themselves. This creates an…

Journalists speak out against media violations in Western Balkans and Turkey

The European Federations of Journalists (EFJ) and its members from Bosnia-Herzegovina, Macedonia, Montenegro, Serbia and Turkey (in picture) spoke out against media violations in their countries and call for more actions in a conference held on 4 November in Brussels by the European Commission (DG NEAR) to highlight the media freedom situation and progress made in Western Balkans and Turkey. A high-level meeting, the “Speak Up conference on Freedom of Expression and Media in the Western Balkans and Turkey” was kicked off by the European Commissioner in charge of European Neighbourhood Policy & Enlargement Negotiations, Mr Johannes Hahn. Unfortunately, hardly any progress is echoed by…

EFJ and IFJ denounce beating of Serbian journalist

The International Federation of Journalists (IFJ) and its European organisation, the European Federation of Journalists (EFJ), denounce the beating of a Serbian journalist on 27 august and support their affiliates in Serbia, the Association of Journalists of Serbia (UNS), the Journalists’ Union of Serbia (SINOS) and the Independent Association of Journalists of Serbia (NUNS) in their call for the attacks’ perpetrators to be tracked down and brought to justice. Investigative journalist Ivan Ninic, 27, was beaten on August 27 in front of his home as he was locking his car in the parking lot. Two young men attacked him brutally using metal…