Naše priče


On freedom of expression…in Serbia*

Discussing freedom of speech and expression in Serbia would remain pretty much out of context if wider framework is not set.  I mean, that very expression ‘freedom of speech & expression’ in  Serbian case would be misleading – because it is presuming the existence of articulated speech and expression.

Serbian media language and public language in general became so law that the only ‘articulation’ we can talk about is the articulation in bigotry, hostility, vulgarity… It’s not like that by ”accident”. The whole purpose of media reversed. They evolved in one of the key actors in degradation and devastation of public language, public and society. That process has been lasting for years.

After so called democratic change in October 2000 there was no radical change in National Broadcasting Company RTS; dubious and obscure media founded during 90’s (as Pink television and bunch of others) were just blessed and approved as soon as they alligned to ‘democratic forces’; not a single trial was conducted against those ones promoting hatred during the 90′s. And so on…

After 2000 illusions existed for some time that things would improve little by little. Already in 2004 it was more than obvious that those will remain just illusions. Untreated cancer started to grow again and then in last several years it has been galloping. Metastases are all over now. If not already dead, Serbian society and Serbian public are definitely on the death bed.

Judging from my own experience, professional, moral and all other media standards existing during the darkest 90′s seem as unreachable heights for what Serbian media is today. During Milošević’s era there was a clear division on pro-government (pro-Milošević) media and ‘opposition’ ones. However, there were still journalists knowing the basic alphabet working for both. Journalism was still considered as a dignified profession. The idea of (professional) moral and ethics was still existing.

Then, not only that ‘Big Brother’ came (on B92, which used to be considered as independent media of high professional and ethical standards) and overcame, but journalism got so much  ’democratized’ that alphabet was not required any more for working in the media. Profession and public space became absolutely open for all kinds of spineless illiterate and semi-litterate creatures. ‘Street language’ has been established into the public language.

The only ones non-welcomed in today’s Serbian media are the ones with a bit of spine, knowing some alphabet, and non-alligned to political parties, secret police and mafia (which are, btw, intermingled between themselves, and also with international actors coming to be the part of the same bizzare game).

So, the media control is complete, as it is the distruction of public and society (i.e. middle class) and disenfranchisement of the people. People are economically devastated, completely dependent, unsecure, frustrated, apathic. They are absolute hostages of arrogant, ignorant, criminal political/economical elites that are, unfortunately, directly or indirectly supported and intertwined with their EU/US/Russian counterparts.

Beside being pretty hopeless, the situation is also very dangerous. Things went too far in bad direction. So far that the first next rehearsal of ‘freedom of expression’ might be massive lynch of whoever – people with glasses, Roma, gays… The more positive outcome would be the real (political) stratification of society which would lead towards completely new spectrum, both in party politics and within ‘civil society’.

It’s hard to see the social strength for this latter one. There is only the basic survival instinct to (maybe) count on…

*This is not a new text. It is written in 2013. However, nothing has changed in the meanwhile. At least not on better.


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