Journalist Jelka Jovanovic on July 20 described as disturbing the statement by Olivera Zekic, the president of the Regulatory Authority for Electronic Media (REM), that photos of slaughtered people shown by Interior Minister Aleksandar Vulin during a live TV program were “educational.”
Jovanovic, a member of the Press Council, told BETA that the claim that the photos of appalling crimes were “educational” was against sanity, media laws and “particularly against the practice which the body led by Zekic should be controlling and sanctioning such program.”
“It is also at odds with journalism ethics and standards, which Zekic, once a journalist herself, should well be conversant with. No international or domestic standards allow for the practice introduced by tabloids, tabloid TV stations and tabloid politicians in Serbia, which seems to be backed by REM, or at least by a majority of the watchdog’s members,” according to Jovanovic , an editor of Belgrade daily Danas.
Jovanovic further said that Zekic, as a state official, should know how public disclosure of evidence during an investigation could impact court proceedings.
Jovanovic stressed that the fact that top state officials had been abusing the media space for “shameless” propaganda was not and could not be a justification to act in the same way for those who were, like REM and its president, responsible for regulating the media space.
“To the contrary, their job is to protect the public against such abuses,” Jovanovic concluded in the statement to BETA.