The N1 TV station said on Wednesday that it decided to replace its regular programming with the statement Darkness in Serbia without the free media for 24 hours to show what the media scene would be like without it and Nova S.
“Dear N1 viewers, you were given an opportunity over the past 24 hours (Tuesday, December 6, 2022) to see what the media scene in Serbia would be like without the free media. We decided to take this drastic step to show the darkness that could prevail without N1 and Nova S,” a statement said.
“We wanted to create a realistic image of what reporting would be like if the Serbian public was given just one version of events, just one – the ruling view, just one opinion and news without critical tones. This was also done to draw attention to the years of pressure we have endured, to attempts to limit our viewership and obstruct our financing and business operations,” it added.
“The latest in the series of steps taken in Serbia to pressure the free media are the activities of the Regulatory Body for Electronic Media (REM) which has failed to decide on the fifth national broadcasting license even though every deadline has passed. Several months ago, N1 applied for a national license and that outcome showed that the REM did not care about media pluralism or improving the media scene. We see the same situation unfolding now which is why N1 is expressing solidarity with its colleagues at Nova S which has applied for the fifth license.
“We believe that it’s time for the public to ask itself whether reporting in Serbia is objective and unbiased, whether everyone has a choice and why propaganda is being imposed as the only model to provide information? Why is it possible that every ethical and professional rule can be broken in Serbia, hate speech promoted, “red lines” crossed in terms of content broadcast on TV.
“N1 has spend the past 8 years trying to abide by the basic postulates of journalism and provide information in the public interest every day. Your reactions have shown us that our efforts were not in vain.
“Thank you for your trust. We will try to justify it,” N1 said in the statement.