Report says pro-regime tabloids focus attacks on United Group media outlets

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Source/Author: N1

The Slavko Curuvija Foundation said on Wednesday that almost 900 attacks by pro-regime tabloids on media critical of the authorities were reported in 2023, most of them against N1, Nova and Danas.

A Foundation press release said that a total of 884 attacks by pro-regime tabloids had been registered last year and added that, according to Press Council data, most of the violations of the Serbian Journalists’ Code were by the Informer, Alo, Srpski Telegraf (its Republika portal), Vecernje Novosti and Kurir.

Those tabloids published 628 stories targeting media or journalists critical of the authorities 884 times, a Foundation report said.

According to the Foundation report, 80 percent of the attacks were on United Group media outlets – 225 attacks on N1 TV and its portal, 220 on Nova TV and its portal and 178 on Danas daily. Those are followed by 21 attacks on Direktno.rs, 8 on Vreme weekly, 4 each on NIN weekly and the KRIK investigative portal, 3 on the BIRN investigative portal and 2 each on KoSSev and Cenzolovka. Radio Free Europe, AL Jazeera, Pescanik, Insajder TV, the Beta news agency, Autonomija and Ozon press were attacked once each.

The report added that pro-regime tabloids also attacked individual journalists, most often Nova TV News Director Slobodan Georgiev and Danas Editor in Chief Dragoljub Draza Petrovic.

It said that the tabloids used a 4-track strategy: defend Serbian President Aleksandar Vucic, demonize and dehumanize journalists, label them as traitors or mercenaries, discredit media. The report said that 31 percent of the tabloid stories were identical or almost identical with each of the tabloids claiming the story as its own which, the Foundation said, could mean they got the ready to publish stories from the same source.

Most of the attacks are by the tabloids themselves but some came from public officials: Ana Brnabic (77), Aleksandar Vucic (37), Goran Vesic (14) and some 20 other ruling coalition officials.

Source: N1