BELGRADE, 13. 01. 2020. – A Serbian Ministry of Culture and Information official said on Friday that charges had been filed against three tabloid dailies for publishing details of the kidnapping of a 12 year old girl.
Several tabloids published front page stories on Thursday which included details from the testimony of convicted rapist Ninoslav Jovanovic who kidnapped the girl and held her hostage for days. The stories included alleged details of rape.
Ministry State Secretary Aleksandar Gajovic said that the tabloids broke the law on information and the media, adding that circulation was no excuse to inflict harm on a minor.
“This is not the first time that the ministry reacted to tabloid stories about the arrest of the girl. The first time was when she was found and the media were asked to take care in their reporting,” Gajovic told the pro-government TV Prva.
He said that the ministry reacted a second time when the media reporting turned towards sensationalism.
Gajovic welcomed the fact that the Srpski Telegraf tabloid apologized to the girl and her family for its front page story.
The Culture and Information Ministry on Friday condemned Srpski Telegraf for continuing to publish information that inflicts harm on a minor and upset the public a day earlier, even though the tabloid issued an apology. “This confirms that their so-called apology was false and hypocritical,” the ministry said, adding that abuse of the media has to stopped using all legal means.