Crowdfunding campaign to save local weekly

May 3, 2018

After 20 years of publishing and 1,000 editions, one of the most respected local media outlets in Serbia, news weekly Kikindske – based in the northern Serbian town of Kikinda – recently launched a crowdfunding campaign with the idea of providing the funds necessary to cover printing costs and ensure unhindered editorial work, as well as for “readers to help Kikindske in its fight against censorship”.

The crowdfunding campaign was initiated by the Group for Media Freedom, which assessed that “if 150 people gave 1,000 dinars (USD $10) a month, the government wouldn’t be able to shut down Kikindske by intimidating advertisers, fixing tenders or pressuring journalists”.

Kikindske is known as an independent, critical media publication, which is why, according to this weekly’s editor, Željko Bodrožić, the newspaper is targeted by a “fierce and dirty campaign” from local authorities’ officials.

This weekly was one of the most heavily fined and penalised local print media during the late 1990s, when media outlets faced draconian punishment under the then Law on Information.

However, Kikindske journalists were the first to win a case against the Serbian state, as a result of this treatment, before the UN Human Rights Committee in 2005, and two cases before the European Court of Human Rights in Strasbourg in 2009.