Date: 24/11/2014

Ljiljana Smajlović on Press under the Pressure: Conquering Media Freedom

Issues of censorship and self-censorship, tolerance in public discourse and the courage to achieve freedom of media speech were discussed with Ljiljana Smajlović Editor-in-Chief of Politika. The event was supported by Beton Bistro, WineQ (Wine Culture Center), Despotika Winery and Đavolčići Homemade Cookies

November 24 – Ljiljana Smajlović, Editor-in-Chief of Politika, the oldest daily newspaper in the Balkans, and President of the Journalists’ Association of Serbia, shared with representatives of AmCham companies her views on the current situation in the Serbian media. She emphasized the potential dangers to relations and friendship between journalists and politicians, pointing to the fact that in the most democratic societies those two professions almost constantly clash.

Commenting on the historical and recent political and economic causes of the current fragility of Serbian media, she pointed out that there is a mistaken self-narrative that brave and free (media) people are those who think alike and that this discourse applies pressure with which journalists variously deal.

Although she said that publishing the most confrontational, extremist opinions cannot deliver the truth to an audience, Ms. Smajlović presented the reasons that led her to open both the print and web editions of Politika daily to a wider range of editorial contributions from political analysts, journalists, consultants and prominent public figures, thus, bringing to readers almost every slant and perspective on news and its understanding, sometimes even extreme ones.

Finally, Ms. Smajlović commented on the nearly two decade-long negative status of journalists in Serbia.

Photos from this event are available here.