On the occasion of receiving the prestigious journalistic award, N1's reporter Jelena Zoric called on all her colleagues to "show those in power that we are a force."
The award by the Association of Serbia’s Journalists (UNS) was given to Zoric for „making a big step forward in live reporting about violent street events, the course of which is impossible to predict in a politically deeply polarised society.
Zoric thanked the Aleksandar Tijanic’s family, the jury and colleagues from UNS, citing the late journalist and editor as saying in an interview: „Journalism is a layer of slaves,“ and that was why, as he said, he despised the journalistic profession to which he belonged.
However, Zoric said she did not know late Aleksandar Tijanic personally, but that she was deeply convinced that if he were the state RTS director on July 7 this year, the TV would not air Jackie Chan’s film during the protests.
„I think that this award also shows that we succeed, but I want to tell all colleagues, in all media, in all journalists’ associations, regardless of which association they are in favour of, that these are the times when we all live in the same society. These are hard times for everyone, hard times for journalists because some are afraid today because being called foreign mercenaries and domestic traitors in the Parliament. In contrast, others are afraid of tomorrow, of the change of government, wondering what will happen with their careers, with their existence. Neither is normal. Both are a deep shame for the profession and very humiliating,“ Zoric said.
She called on her colleagues in all media to remind all those in power, especially the politically powerful ones who, as she said, profit the most when journalists quarrel, what kind of force journalists are.
„We are the seventh force; it seems that they have forgotten, but it seems that we have also forgotten that. Being just a journalist is the most powerful thing, and in fact, it is something that bothers those in power the most… Good things are never easy. Some will say my speech is naive; some will say it’s unrealistically pacifist. But I would tell them that I’ve been in journalism since childhood, long enough to understand what is happening with the profession, and long enough to know we saw the back of whoever from those in power stood in front of us.
Zoric dedicated the award to all her colleagues in Serbia – journalists, cameramen and photojournalists.
„Let’s not let them make us a layer of slaves, let’s show how powerful it is to be a journalist,“ he said.