The Bujanovacke newsroom was visited yesterday by the police following a report filed against the journalist of this media, Ivana Jovanovic, by the director of the “Branko Radicevic” elementary school from Bujanovac. As the Bujanovacke newsroom unofficially learns, the application states that the text about the renovation of the school and the photo showing that the ceiling in the school toilet has fallen upset the parents of the children who attend that school.
Members of the Bujanovac police station interviewed the journalist in the premises of the Bujanovacke newsroom. She stated that she did not enter the school without authorization, but as a journalist and introduced herself to the workers present, none of whom told her that entering the school and taking photos were prohibited.
From Bujanovacke, they note that journalist Ivana Jovanovic called the principal of the school after returning from school, who did not tell her that she had entered the school without authorization. He even mentioned in a telephone conversation that the fallen ceiling was not the only defect that was noticed during the reconstruction of the building.
Independent Journalists’ Association of Serbia (IJAS) condemns this move by the school director. We believe that this is serious pressure on the media and that the criminal complaint is completely unfounded, especially because it followed the conversation with the journalist and the publication of the text. There is a completely justified fear that the idea for this pressure came from higher political instances, which are bothered by the media reporting on the problems in Bujanovac.
We appeal to the director of the school to withdraw the report and allow journalists to carry out their work unhindered in the interest of the public, and the interest of the public is to know how the work on the reconstruction of the school was done. It is important for parents and other citizens to have objective and true information about the working conditions at the school, and it is of essential interest that the public be aware of the actual situation in this institution. Also, we expect the police to act in this case bearing in mind that the journalist did her job professionally, introduced herself and contacted the school director, who subsequently, after the text was published, decided to file a report against her.
Independent Journalists’ Association of Serbia
January 19, 2024