Journalist associations denounce "Russian spies" article
Two journalist associations have strongly condemned a report published by the public broadcaster of Kosovo, RTK.Source: B92
The Association of Journalists of Serbia (UNS) and the Society of Journalists of Kosovo and Metohija (DNKiM) reacted on Thursday after RTK published an unsigned article in Albanian, insinuating that "a well-known Serb journalist from Kosovo, from Gracanica," was "a Russian spy."
RTK's article, which references "the Kosovo intelligence agency" as its source, also identified this journalist with the initials "B.N." and accuses him of "gathering funds from the Western countries that are present in Kosovo.
In addition, RTK published the names of several other Serbs, accusing them of also "spying for Russia."
UNS and DNKiM said they want the Kosovo media community, professional associations, and the Press Council to urgently react to the article, that has since been carried by other Albanian language outlets in Kosovo.
The two associations expect the OSCE mission in Kosovo and other international representatives to make public statements regarding RTK's reporting, "especially bearing in mind that fake news, blaming Serbs for the drowning of two Albanian boys, published by RTK served as a trigger for anti-Serb violence in March 2004."
UNS and DNKiM also stressed that this type of reporting "endangers the life of not only 'the well-known Serb journalist B.N.," but also of a group of other people who have been marked as Russian spies, with no evidence, and with their photos and names and surnames published."
The two associations noted that seven Serbia journalists have been killed or gone missing in Kosovo and Metohija from 1998 until 2000, and that none of the perpetrators have been discovered to this day, with neither EULEX - EU's rule of law mission in Kosovo - nor the Kosovo authorities undertaking any action regarding investigations.
By publishing this article penned by an anonymous author that accuses a group of people of spying for Russia with no evidence, and by endagering their lives, these associations added, RTK has "violated the professional standards."
UNS and DNKiM have asked RTK to remove the article from its website, "and from other media who carried it," and urged professional organizations and the Press Council to state their position on the responsibility of the editor for publishing such content.