Journalists finding it increasingly difficult to do their job

December 31, 2021

Nagip Arifi, president of the Municipality of Bujanovac, has announced that the local Bujanovac portal will no longer be permitted to monitor the sessions of the Municipal Council. Arifi expressed his dissatisfaction with the way this portal reports about him.

According to a report published by the Bujanovac portal, this latest attack against them came after the publishing of an article about Arifi’s threats against the media, while his statement banning the portal can be heard and seen on a recording shot by Aldi Television, which monitors the work of the Municipal Council.

The Independent Journalists’ Association of Serbia (NUNS) objected to this move of the president of the Municipality of Bujanovac, warning him that discrimination against journalists and media outlets is prohibited under the Law on Public Information and Media.

Meanwhile, MPs of the ruling majority have verbally assaulted N1 journalist Milan Nikić for expressing a desire to report from a public session of the Municipal Assembly of Batočina, located in the vicinity of Kragujevac.

Several attending government MPs used foul language to insult Nikić, while the president of the municipality, who was dissatisfied with TV N1’s filming, called security and police to expel the media team.

Both UNS and NUNS condemned the attack and called on the competent authorities to respond.

Initially, Serbian National Assembly Speaker Ivica Dačić didn’t want to provide a statement for a journalist of TV channel Newsmax Adria, then security staff subsequently prevented the media company’s team from filming.

NUNS assessed this behaviour as the applying of undue pressure on journalists and noted that public officials are obliged to provided answers to questions of public interest posed by the media, while it is unacceptable to ban filming in the National Assembly.