According to available data, this is a newsroom that will be composed of reporters from 16 news agencies in European countries, that should begin in mid-2022 with work and reporting on processes related to the European Union, and Serbia will be represented in that network by the News Agency Tanjug.
The Coalition reminds that Tanjug is a media that is known for its close cooperation with the ruling structures in Serbia. In addition to enjoying a privileged position in the distribution of various budget funds, Tanjug has worked for years despite the decision of the Government of Serbia.
The Tanjug news agency was supposed to stop working in October 2015, and even five years after that deadline, it operated and broadcast information with the approval of the top authorities.
And after legal acrobatics, the Tanjug brand became the property of the company Tacno, for ten years owned by the pop artist Zeljko Joksimovic.
We would like to ask the European Commission, how is it possible that they are ready to cooperate with Tanjug, which placed incorrect information in the interest of politicians and parties, and not accurate news in favor of the citizens?
How is it possible that Tanjug is a part of a long-term project worth 1.76 million euros, while the reputation of that agency is deeply damaged because it directly participated in the collapse of democracy?
How is it possible that the European Commission finances exactly the newsroom that is responsible for the production of disinformation, for participating in public chases against critics of the current government and for lowering professional and ethical standards of the profession?
The Coalition for Freedom of the Media calls on the project participants to reconsider the decision and consider all the facts related to the work of this media, and to consider whether the information this agency would place in the mentioned European network will continue to be relevant and desirable.
Members of the Coalition for Freedom of the Media are the Association of Media, the Association of Online Media (AOM), the Independent Journalists Association of Vojvodina (IJAV), the Independent Journalists Association of Serbia (IJAS), the Business Association of Local and Independent Media “Local Press” and the Slavko Curuvija Foundation.
Coalition for Freedom of the Media
Novi Sad, Belgrade, Kragujevac,
November 30, 2021.