Threatened Journalists: Three Serbian reporters visit Ossigeno

The winners of the 2017Journalism Award for Tolerance visited Rome accompanied by the OSCE Mission to Serbia, to learn about best practice

On the 23rd April the president and staff of Ossigeno per l’Informazione hosted in Rome, Jovana Pali, Janya Lanar and Tamara Tankosi, the three Serbian journalists winners in 2017 of the Journalism Award for Tolerance launched by the Republic of Serbia’s Commission for Equal Opportunity.

The journalists are in Italy accompanied by officials from the OECE mission to Serbia led by the ambassador Orizio to visit government institutions, newspapers and non-governmental organisations regarded as examples of good practice on the subject of the defence of the rights to information, of tolerance and of non-discrimination. Ossigeno had been chosen to demonstrate the experience it has gained in the field of monitoring intimidation and threats to Italian journalists and its drawing public attention to this phenomenon. Ossigeno’s representatives illustrated this experience and answered numerous questions. Amongst others, Ossigeno underlined that on-going monitoring which produces timely information based on verified facts provides that primary safety-net of public protection which only the non-governmental organisations can supply and which is necessary to extend to journalists to prevent the most serious attacks.

Data on threatened journalists in Serbia. In describing their experience the winners of the prize said that they too had been threatened and intimidated. In addition they provided the most authoritative data on attacks on journalists in Serbia; three murders in the last twenty years, six hundred physical attacks on journalists in ten years. The most common form of attack, they explained, comes from politicians above all through the internet. The culpable remain unpunished and the majority of journalists do not report the intimidations. They underlined that one lives and works in a climate fraught with menaces.

Grazia Pia Attolini

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