Volume 2 Issue 7

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EASTERN EUROPE IS PUTTING NEW FORMS OF MEDIA CENSORSHIP TO THE TEST

Date of News: 

18-01-2022

Date of Publication: 

10-02-2022

Unique ID:

202281537

Name of the Author: 

MANINI KAUR

Field of Law: 

Media Law

Content of News:

A Serbian journalist reported a severe shortage of masks and other protective equipment when Covid-19 arrived in Eastern Europe in the spring of 2020. She was apprehended quickly, imprisoned in a windowless cell, and charged with inciting panic. Ana Lalic, a journalist, was quickly released and even received a public apology from the government, in what appeared to be a minor victory over Serbian authoritarian President Aleksandar Vucic's old-fashioned repression. However, Ms Lalic was vilified for weeks as a traitor by much of the country's news media, which has come increasingly under Mr Vucic's and his allies' control as Serbia adopts Hungary's tactics and other countries withdraw from democracy around the world. Eastern Europe's Former Communist Fringe. Serbia no longer imprisons or murders critical journalists, as it did during the rule of Slobodan Milosevic in the 1990s. It is now attempting to undermine their credibility by ensuring that only a small number of people see their reports. Mr. Vucic, as well as the country's most famous athlete, tennis star Novak Djokovic, whose visa problems in Australia have been portrayed as an unforgivable insult to the Serbian nation, has benefited greatly from the suppression of critical voices. The few remaining independent news media outlets overwhelmingly support him, but they take a more balanced approach. Eastern Europe has become a fertile ground for new forms of censorship, ranging from Poland in the north to Serbia in the south, that eschews brute force in favour of softer but effective tools to limit access to critical voices and sway public opinion � and thus elections � in favour of those in power. According to Zoran Gavrilovic, the Executive Director of Birodi, an independent control group, Serbia has become "a major sociological experiment to see how far the media determines opinion and elections."

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