We inform the domestic and international public that on Friday, 22nd September, 2017, a decision was taken to launch joint activities of the media, journalists’ associations, journalists and civil society organisations in the struggle for media freedom in Serbia.
This group has come together in a sign of support for Vranjske, one of the country’s most important local media outlets, which was forced to shut down last week, due to unbearable political and economic pressure. The shutdown of this publication and subsequent hunger strike of Vranjske owner and editor-in-chief Vukasin Obradovic are symbolic of the situation facing a vast majority of other independent media in Serbia, as well as media freedom as a whole.
The group was formed during a week that culminated in attacks on media freedom and against the integrity and existence of independent journalists. In just one day, Vranjske declared shutdown, investigative journalists of KRIK were verbally attacked by representatives of the party in power, while other journalists were again the target of an attack on the front cover of tabloid newspaper Informer.
This group also represents the response of Serbian citizens to the constant undermining of the freedom of the media and expression, at the national and local levels. The group is open to accept all interested media, organisations and individuals. The group will organise joint activities in the fight for Vranjske and media freedom and expression, and will inform the local and international public about violations of media freedom in Serbia. The Group will inform the public in a timely manner regarding plans, further steps and modes of operation.
We invite all media companies and organisations to jointly demonstrate against the existence of media darkness in Serbia on Thursday, 28th September. All media, portals, websites, social networks of citizens who share the goals of this group initiative will darken their screens at noon or mark their printed editions with a black sign during that day, symbolising the media darkness that we have faced in Serbia for years. The group will distribute instructions for this coordinated action through its own channels, while anyone wanting to join can send an email to email@example.com.
Association of Independent Electronic Media – ANEM
Association of Media
Association of local independent media Local Press
Association of Online Media
Balkan Investigative Reporting Network – BIRN
Belgrade Centre for Human Rights
Bureau for Social Research – BIRODI
Centre for Investigative Journalism of Serbia – CINS
Centre for Practical Policy
Centre for Research and Transparency – CRTA
Crime and Corruption Reporting Network – KRIK
Daily newspaper Danas
Helsinki Committee for Human Rights in Serbia
Human Rights House
Independent Journalists’ Association of Vojvodina – NDNV
Independent Association of Journalists’ of Serbia – NUNS
Juzne vesti portal
Lawyers’ Committee for Human Rights – YUCOM
Media & Reform Centre Niš
Slavko Curuvija Foundation
Weekly newspaper Kikindske
Weekly newspaper Novi magazin
Weekly newspaper Vreme