An N1 crew was not allowed into a Serbian government news conference because of “overcrowding” even though it received an invitation a day earlier, continuing the practice that the authorities have been following.
N1 crews have been refused permission to report from public areas in airports, open air markets, city pools, river beaches and other places.
Video of the news conference N1 was not allowed to attend showed that only a select few media crews were allowed to hear and question Science Minister Jelena Begovic in a virtually empty news conference hall.
European Federation of Journalists (EFJ) chief Maja Sever said that the excuse given was unacceptable and recalled that the authorities have a duty to make sure journalists can attend news conferences.
N1 has been denied access and permission to report from a number of places. They were denied permission to report from open air markets which are managed by local administrations because reporters asked questions about prices and inflation.
Belgrade Zoo did not reply to questions by e-mail about plans for the zoo and an N1 crew was refused entry.
Permission to report from Belgrade city pools was never given nor was permission given to an N1 crew in Novi Sad to report from the city beach on the Danube.
Requests for interviews or comments were sent to doctors and health care staff, kindergartens, the Vojvodina government for comments on an oil spill in the Danube, organized crime prosecutors, the Mining and Energy Ministry about Rio Tinto, the Internal Affairs Ministry (MUP), Business Registers Agency and others.
The city administrations in Kragujevac and Nis have not responded to requests for comments from N1 for years.
Public officials have been refusing to appear on N1 TV for years and now public institutions have been refusing to answer questions.