Hope on the Balkans
Wave of state media disobedience
BELGRADE, Monday - Under two hours, sixty-eight people working for Radio Belgrade have signed a demand that the editorial policy of this media house be changed immediately, "in the first next news program". The demand was signed by journalists, editors, tehnicians and music artists employed by the Radio Television Serbia Music Production, as well as the administrative staff of Radio Belgrade. Signature collection was still in progress, organisers of the action told Beta. Radio Belgrade Director Milivoje Pavlovic has sacked today the RTS Music Production Director Branislava Saper because she signed an appeal to RTS News department.
Program producer on local Television Subotica, Katarina Janjic, was also sacked today. During the regular program, she had broadcast an appeal to Subotica citizens to gather and protest against the election fraud.
Eight local radio stations in Serbia in the last 48 hours informed the Democratic Opposition of Serbia press centre that they ceased broadcasting program of Radio Television Serbia. Radio Obrenovac, Radio Smederevo, Radio Novi Becej, Radio Zajecar, Radio Lazarevac, Radio Mladenovac and Radio Sremcica, all of which were government-controlled until the elections, stated that in the future they would inform the citizens on all events objectively and that they were supporting the citizens who had entered the action of general civil disobedience.
Independent Association of Serbian Journalists has received 175 signatures from the journalists working for the Radio Television Serbia, Radio Belgrade and Politika, joining demands for respecting the citizens' election will. The Association secretary Dragutin Rokvic told Beta that after a public appeal published in dailies Glas javnosti and Danas, this organisation received "support" from four state media. "We received 70 signatures from Television Belgrade, 53 from Radio Belgrade, and 20 signatures from the Nis branch of the state televison", Rokvic specified. We alsa got a letter from Politka state-run media company with 32 journalists demanding impartial reporting from the editor-in-chief.
Radio Television Krusevac joined the appeal for the change of state television's editorial policy by refusing to rebroadcast RTS news program. Journalist of this house Zarko Nikolic told B2-92 that the viewers took special interest in the RTV Krusevac's report which showed pictures of the ballots, with the name of Vojislav Kostunica circled, found in a garbage container near the local Municipal Assembly.
Group of journalists working for the daily Vecernje novosti demanded from the acting Editor-in-Chief Dusan Cukic that the paper urgently "stop linking its fate to the interests of any narrow political option". The open letter to Cukic, so far signed by around 100 journalists, demanded respect of the people's will and impartial reporting on the current happenings in the country. "In a case of possible repression against any individual journalist, the whole staff would stand in defense of any threatened member."
Around 90 workers and contributors to Radio Television Studio B announced it would carry out industrial action as of Monday 7 a.m., FoNet reported. At the same time, they appealed publicly to the management to begin urgent, professional, impartial and full informing of the public about the events in Belgrade and the whole country.
Around twenty journalists and tehnicians of the private Kraljevo television TV 10, close to the Socialist Party of Serbia, on Monday went on strike. They said they were doing it in protest against the election machinations. TV 10 as of this morning at 10 a.m. was rebroadcasting satellite program.
Pozarevac Television Duga for the first time on Saturday evening started broadcasting a cairon calling on citizens and students of Pozarevac schools to join the strike, Beta reported. Around 8.15 p.m. three inspectors entered the premises and stopped the broadcast of cairon, demanding investigation. TV Duga is a local private television.
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