Price you pay for loyalty to the government: Millions for Informer

The loyalty that tabloids in Serbia show to the people in power has been paying off greatly for them at various media competitions which are usually launched by local governments.

However, this is something that the editor-in-chief of the Informer daily, Dragan J. Vučićević never speaks about when criticizing the Ministry of Culture which, by the way, allocated only 7.5 million dinars to the media outlets that are critical of the current government. This amount is less than what the Informer got in 2018.

First, there was a headline on the front page of Informer saying: “The state pays 7,400,000 dinars to the haters who campaign against it”.

Vučićević carried on with his critical attitude during his appearance on Pink TV:”Draža Petrović (editor-in-chief of the Danas daily), the genius who always blasts the government, the President, the people in power and just about everything else, get hundreds of thousands of dinars from that very state”.

“The fact that money is given to the media outlets that are critical of the current government is something to be commended because the money was not allocated to those media outlets that serve as batons of Aleksandar Vučić’s propaganda,” says Dragoljub (Draža) Petrović, the editor-in-chief of the Danas daily.

“I am not funded by the state, never have been, as far as I know. I never got any money from the Ministry of Culture and I am not complaining that I didn’t,” Vučićević said.

Vučićević has nothing to complain about because, at various competitions, Insajder Team (which publishes Informer), has been profiting for years, and we are talking about millions. That was the case with the 2019 media competition launched by the Belgrade government.

“They (Insajder Team) were given around 6 million dinars in 2019 at the competition. As far as our data shows (which can be found on the Raskrinkavanje website), they were allocated a total of 8.9 million dinars in 2019 at various competitions, which is more than 7 or 8 media outlets together got from the Ministry of Culture,” Tamara Filipović from NUNS (Independent Association of Serbian Journalists).

Otherwise, the said competition is an exception. All other tabloids close to the authorities and television stations that support the state’s president get most of the cash, although, as a rule, only those media outlets that adhere to the relevant code of ethics are eligible for co-financing.

“Which is not the case with Informer, which has violated the Code close to 600 times in 2018,” Tamara Filipovic points out.

The question remains how is it possible that a tabloid like the Informer (which, according to Vučićević, has never received money from the state budget) is financed from the local budgets of towns and municipalities in which the Serbian Progressive Party is in power?

(N1, 01.08.2019)

This post is also available in: Italiano

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