December 2, 2019


“On my back, in a bizarre interpretation of our dialogue, a target has been placed, but, much more importantly, a message has been sent to the entire journalism profession that it is not advisable to ask inconvenient questions,” said TV N1 journalist Miodrag Sovilj, speaking in an interview with Cenzolovka, after sustaining an orchestrated attack by pro-regime media and the state leadership just because he insisted that President Aleksandar Vučić answer his question regarding the involvement of the interior minister’s father in arms trading.

Sovilj’s insistence on responses from President Vučić was praised by some journalists, while tabloid newspapers and other pro-government media, with the assistance of government officials, “saw” in his questioning an attempt to provoke an incident, but also one of the possible reasons why President Vučić sought medical assistance due to health problems later that same day. Alongside local press associations, the campaign against Sovilj – which went so far as to include the publishing of private photos from his youth that allegedly compromise him – was also condemned by Reporters Without Borders and the Committee for the Protection of Journalists (CPJ).

Interestingly, upon leaving the hospital, President Vučić denied that he’d ended up in because of the N1 reporter, but he simultaneously accused the media company in question of leading a “macabre campaign”.