Media, Actors and Politicians on Danica Vučenić Case

Media, Actors and Politicians on Danica Vučenić Case

Danica Vučenić, journalist of one of the most watched shows "Jedan na jedan" (One-on-One), who made the public service of Vojvodina recognizable and who raised the most controversial issues of everyday life in Serbia, decided to leave journalism and turn over her authorial show to colleagues from Radio and Television of Vojvodina. Her next job will be outside journalism, as she is moving to the Hemofarm pharmaceutical company. Vucenic, winner of multiple awards for investigative reporting, battling corruption and civil courage, is the second well-known female journalist in Serbia who recently had problems with centers of power due to her responsible attitude toward journalism and her audience. To recall, 2014 was marked by the case of Olja Bećković and her authorial show “Utisak nedelje” (Impression of the Week) which had been aired for years on B92. Danica Vučenić sees the cause of the disagreements and pressure in a well-received interview she conducted several months ago with the journalist Olja Bećković, which provoked a lot of polemics on censorship and Prime Minister Aleksandar Vučić’s big influence on the media landscape in Serbia.

Meanwhile, representatives of Serbia’s political and economic establishment claim they never refused to take part in Danica Vučenić’s "Jedan na jedan" show. For instance, Zoran Babić, head of the SNS Caucus, said during a guest appearance on "Pink" television that his party had not boycotted the journalist and that he had a lot of respect for Danica Vučenić. He added that he had been a guest on the "Jedan na jedan" show three times last year and had been "very fond of verbally fighting" with the journalist to defend the views represented by the SNS. Saša Mirković, State Secretary at the Ministry of Culture and Information, according to a report in the Danas newspaper (20 March 2015), "told TV N1 that the state was not to blame for the poor situation in media and that everyone should first look in the mirror. Mirković assessed in the N1 morning program that it was unfair to blame the government for the poor situation in media (..) – "I am unclear on what kind of boycott this would be”, said Mirković and added that he had known Danica Vučenić for 15 years and that she was entering the world of PR".

This is not the first time when it comes to censorship that journalists and centers of power have different views on the same events, trends and people. Danica Vučenić also spoke with Danas (A. Roknić, 18 March 2015):

"From the moment I had Olja Bećković as a guest on my show, government representatives did not want to be my guests. I see that as a boycott", the journalist Danica Vučenić told Danas. She added she was thus prevented from asking on the public service, on behalf of the audience, questions that were important for the public. Vučenić emphasizes she became aware after this that she would not be able to host anyone from the ruling Serbian Progressive Party and that she was thus 'forced into being one-sided'.

"My idea of professional journalism is in collision with the situation I am in with my show," Vučenić told Danas, emphasizing that she had always wanted to work professionally. "I always had the same attitude toward all guests. Now I have been forced into being one-sided and I will have no part in that. That is why I am leaving", concluded Vučenić.

The Radio and Television of Vojvodina Board stated regarding this matter that the "author of the series 'Jedan na jedan' decided to accept another job outside journalism and would no longer be doing the show after 19 March". The Board’s press release says "author of the series 'Jedan na jedan' Danica Vučenić decided to accept another job, outside journalism, and would no longer be doing the show after 19 March. In a short time, Danica Vučenić had made a cult show out of 'Jedan na jedan', which raised numerous questions about our contemporary lives and gained a good public reputation. Her journalistic work on this project brought her numerous awards, among them the one with the name of Verica Barać. Danica Vučenić thus gave tremendous contribution to strengthening the reputation and raising the ratings of RTV. The RTV Board expressed its regret that the cooperation had ended, but also the hope that Vučenić’s departure from journalism was only temporary and that cooperation with her would be renewed."

Media Integrity