Gajović: Media that violate the Journalists’ Code should not receive money from the budget

(Source:  n1 ) – Aleksandar Gajović, State Secretary at the Ministry of Culture and Information, stated as a guest on N1 that media that violate the Journalists’ Code should not receive money from the budget. “I think that the Code of Journalists is well written, very honorable and honest, and I personally think that absolutely everyone should respect it. And, after all, the Ministry supports both the Press Council and the Code.” Speaking about the co-financing of the local media and the case in Kragujevac, he said that he would send a warning to Mayor Radomir Nikolić – that he was obliged to announce a competition.

There are plenty of problems on the media scene. In recent days, co-financing of media projects has been in the center of attention again. The Association of Journalists of Serbia announced that their representatives would withdraw from the government commission, because people were appointed to it who we heard from the representatives of UNS that, in their opinion, are not adequate for those positions.

There have been no media competitions in Kragujevac for five years, the media are left without the money that is intended for them and necessary for survival.

Gajović says that on Wednesday, he and his associates had an open conversation with the director of the weekly Kragujevac, that they came to some conclusions. She explained to us the situation, which is quite dramatic in Kragujevac, considering that it is a big city, and that it deserves good information, says the H1 guest. He states that they blindly follow the law in that ministry, and that it is really the obligation of every local self-government and every city to announce competitions for financing media content. However, as he says, the shortcoming of that law is that they did not envisage sanctions if that does not happen, admitting that he himself is a bit guilty of it. “Well, that is one of the things that we will certainly take into account in the current media reform – to sanction those who do not announce,” he stated.

Now, he says, there are no instruments by which that city would be initiated to announce competitions. Gajović says that the director of the weekly “Kragujevacke” was promised that the representatives of that ministry would first address the mayor of Kragujevac, adding that they had already done that once. He stated that the assistant minister had talks on that topic in Kragujevac, but that she would now give a warning, a “yellow card”. Once again, we will make an effort to point out to the mayor that he is obliged to respect the Law on Informing the Media and that they should announce a competition, which, as he says, he will do in the next few days.

He added that the weekly has a large debt to the Borba printing house and that he pledged and scheduled a meeting with the representatives of the printing house on Wednesday, in order to see what can be done there. Gajović added that he is very emotional about the moment when one media is shutting down, and “this paper may be on the verge of that sad act”.

Asked how he evaluates media competitions “locally” and at the level of the republic, he says that he does not have complete information, but that he notes that there are complaints. Those who think that they have been denied their right in any way, when it comes to competitions with co-financing, “ask us what to do, there was a conflict of interest here. We instruct them to claim their right primarily through the courts. Noting that these administrative proceedings last for two or three years, Gajović says that the duration of court proceedings is not an issue for him.