MFRR report: Serbian journalists work in a very toxic environment

The toxic environment in which journalists in Serbia work remains a concern, reads a report on media freedoms in 2022 compiled by the Media Freedom Rapid Response (MFRR), a non-governmental Europe-wide supervisory mechanism that tracks, monitors and reacts to press and media freedom violations in EU member states and candidate countries.

The report, authored by the European Centre for Press and Media Freedom (ECPMF), International Press Institute (IPI) and the European Federation of Journalists (EFJ), says that the toxic environment in Serbia is fueled by politicians and other media outlets by labelling journalists as traitors or enemies of the state, which encourages additional intimidation.

MFRR recorded 41 alerts for Serbia involving 60 attacked persons or media outlets.

“The majority of these alerts concerned cases of verbal attacks (32 cases, 78 percent) taking place mainly online (13), in the workplace (5), or in public places such as while covering demonstrations,” reads the document.

Physical assaults were the second most frequent type of attack on journalists in Serbia, and a total of ten journalists were assaulted while reporting from the field – three of them during the EuroPride’s march in September 2022, says the report.

MFRR said the independent daily newspaper Danas was targeted at least five times by “serious threats raising fears for the physical safety of the journalists working there.”

The report also notes that two bomb threats were made within 10 days against Adria Media Group, home to almost ten media outlets.

The MFRR report also mentions the cases of journalists Nenad Kulacin and Veran Matic, who were intimidated by posters plastered in the streets of Belgrade and Vranje.

“They revealed personal residential addresses in the case of Kulacin and a photo with denigrating comments in the case of Matic,” reads the report.

The report goes on to say that, from January to December 2022, the Media Freedom Rapid Response (MFRR) recorded 813 media freedom violations in EU Member States and candidate countries involving 1,339 individuals or media outlets.

(021.rs, 09.02.2023)

https://www.021.rs/story/Info/Srbija/331362/Analiza-Novinari-u-Srbiji-rade-u-toksicnom-okruzenju-koje-generisu-politicari.html

This post is also available in: Italiano

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