Filip Svarm, editor of the Vreme weekly, has said that Serbia's state policy is the creator of fake news in Serbia, while the public is overwrought and recognizes some instances of fake news, but passes over others.
Speaking late on Feb. 11 at an online conference titled Fake News Epidemic, which included the results of research revealing that almost one in six headlines published on the front pages of Serbian daily newspapers in 2020 had been fake, Svarm said a large number of people viewed the media as a form of reality entertainment.
Radomir Diklic, director and editor in chief of the Beta News Agency, said tabloids did not have the capacity to take fake news further than splashing "a big headline over most of the page," while Politika and Vecernje Novosti did have that capacity and employed it to serve the regime in the foreign-policy arena.
Diklic said COVID-19 had been the downfall of former U.S. president Donald Trump, while Serbian President Aleksandar Vucic strove to leverage the COVID crisis to stay in power and gain more public trust.
Novi Magazin editor in chief Nadezda Gace said the purpose of Serbian Prime Minister Ana Brnabic coming out to meet a shipment of Chinese vaccines late on Feb. 10 had not been to "curry favor with the citizens" of Serbia, but with the leaders of the countries sending the vaccine contingents.
Zoran Sekulic, the director and editor in chief of the Fonet wire service, said fake news need not always carry a negative connotation and that media's "project tasks" were divided, and "certain power centers" coordinated what would appear on which front page.