mediawatch-owner on 4 Oct 2000 01:58:38 -0000

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<nettime> ANEM press release: Media employees sacked, equipment confiscated, police force in editorial premises

BELGRADE, October 2, 2000 - The Association of Independent Electronic
Media protests strongly against the government crackdown on media and
journalists who have decided to oppose the production of false
information and to begin objective and impartial media coverage of
events in the country.

Six employees of Television Novi Sad who established a Strike
Committee and demanded a change of editorial in the station were
dismissed from their positions on Friday, September 29.  A
representative of the Strike "Committee, Tatjana Vojtahovski, told
Beta that the dismissal notices were signed by Dragoljub Milanovic,
the general manager of Radio Television Serbia.  In addition to
Vojtahovski, music editor Bogomir Mijatovic, cameraman Vladimir
Kradjinov, film editors Nebojsa Paplar and Katarina Tislovski and
television director Vera Bojic were also dismissed.

On Saturday, September 20, at about 8.15 p.m., three police officers
entered the premises of the local television station Duga in the town
of Pozarevac and interrupted a screen ticker which was informing the
people of Pozarevac about the call from the Democratic Opposition of
Serbia for a general strike.  The officers attempted to discover who
had organised and facilitated the broadcast of the ticker.

On Sunday, October 1, in the town of Zajecar, police and several
Socialist Party activists confiscated broadcast equipment from
Internal Television in an apartment block of Kotlujevac.  This is a
cable network for apartment buildings in the borough of Kotlujevac.
It is private property and is mostly used to air entertainment
programs.  Beta news agency reports statements from eye-witnesses who
said that that the Internal Television equipment had been confiscated
because of the fear of the Socialists that the station could begin
taking news programs from the independent media.

On Monday, October 2, at 7.00 a.m., about ninety staff and associates
of Radio Television Studio B announced that they would go on strike
and made a public call to Studio B management to enable reporting
without pressure and without the presence of police officers in their

ANEM emphasises the necessity of media and other democracy-oriented
forces in society raising their voices against such actions by the
regime and showing solidarity with journalists and media targeted by
the repression.  The Association also calls for coordinated activities
to assist the remaining state-controlled media to return to the
elementary professional and ethical principles of journalism.

ANEM welcomes the decisions of some media, including Radio Obrenovac,
Radio Smederevo, Radio Novi Becej, Radio Zajecar, Radio Lazarevac,
Radio Mladenovac, Radio Sremcica, Radio Television Krusevac, Timocka
Television in Zajecar and others which have recently changed their
editorial policy and told their audiences that in future they will
broadcast objective information about events in the country.

The Association reiterates its appeal to all radio and television
stations in the country and the region to actively contribute with
their programming to true and timely reporting on everything which is
happening in Yugoslavia in these decisive moments.  The need for
professional work by all media and journalists in Yugoslavia is
greater than ever.  ANEM once again calls all broadcast media to join
the campaign against the information blockade and emphasises that the
current affairs programs of Regional Radio Television B2-92 are
available for rebroadcast free of charge to all stations which do not
produce their own news programming, for as long as the media blockade

Veran Matic,

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