New attack on N1 television and its director over broadcast interviews

November 18, 2019

The throwing of leaflets into the courtyard of cable news channel TV N1, which unknown individuals have been doing for several months, continued during the broadcasting of an interview conducted by the programme director of this television company, Jugoslav Ćosić, with Kosovo election winner Albin Kurti. However, this is the only attack against this television company and its director in the past two weeks.

The very announcement of this interview with a Kosovo politician provoked condemnation in Serbia’s pro-government tabloids, and the leaflets distributed during the broadcast featured a photo of Albanian Prime Minister Edi Rama and Yugoslav Ćosić, with the caption underneath reading “There is some secret relationship” [a popular song lyric]. Previous leaflets featuring threatening contents prompted numerous Serbian journalists to protest in front of the Serbian government.

On this occasion, the Ministry of Culture and Information also spoke out, assessing that it was a case of a threat to security, while the Director of the Serbian Government Office for Kosovo, Marko Đurić, considers that insults and threats are unacceptable, adding cynically : “… regardless of whether they come from Đilas’s (Dragan Đilas, one of the leaders of the Serbian opposition) or any other media.” Journalists’ unions UNS and NUNS both reacted and condemned this attempted intimidation.

Another Ćosić interview on N1, this time with Krušik weapons factory whistleblower Aleksandar Obradović, who is under house arrest for disclosing information about the factory’s operations to the media, resulted in the launch of a dirty campaign. Financial information about the company where Ćosić used to work was published on social media, then concerned pro-government media publicly “drew attention” to the fact that significant earnings of that company come from Albania and the U.S. Embassy in Belgrade. Ćosić dismissed the allegations, saying that there is nothing suspicious in the operations of the company in which he retained ownership after transferring to N1.