The combination of politics and journalism in Gradiška

It is common knowledge that the media and journalists have long since ceased to be unconditionally trusted, and the media image in Republika Srpska has been continuously losing the battle against ethical and professional principles and codes for a long time anyway. The editors of the Infoveza portal reveal one of the classic reasons for the decline in the credibility of the media, but also of the journalists themselves in Srpska, or more specifically in Gradiška.

Namely, the city of Gradiška decided on an extremely interesting move, when their representatives decided on the so-called double financing – both media and journalists. Namely, according to the contracts available on the public procurement portal, the city of Gradiška regularly pays money to the daily newspaper “Blic”, that is, to their online edition Srpska info, and this would not be controversial, because cities and municipalities have long been financing the media for the sake of positive reporting on them. What is disputed in the case of Gradiška and the daily newspaper Blic is that the city cooperates or pays the journalist personally, that is, their company.

Namely, according to the Mikro mreža portal, the Photo Video “Flash” company of Blic/Srpska info journalist Milan Pilipović concluded direct agreements with the city worth 22,000 marks without VAT in the previous year and a half. If we add to that that the daily newspaper “Blic” received twice from the city budget 6,000 KM without VAT, and at the end of last month an additional 6,000 KM for the promotion of the city, then it is clear that it is a matter of good cooperation on the part of the editor of Radio-television Gradiška and journalist Milan Pilipović, and on the other side the mayor of the town on the Sava.

The contracts that are in the possession of our portal prove this.

In their response to our portal, the city administration of Gradiška refers exclusively to the documentary film “April Flight”, which was also shown on RTRS.

“For the past year and a half, the aforementioned company Poto video “Flash” sp, at our request, produced the documentary film “April Flight” as well as the ten-episode series “Our People and Regions”, with the aim of affirming and presenting the past and the potential of our city. Everything was broadcast on RTRS Public Service, and after that on other televisions throughout Srpska and Serbia. It is exclusively about the author’s work of the journalist Milan Pilipović”, they state from the city administration and add that there are no other intentions behind this cooperation, other than using the experience of the journalist and the company.

Interestingly, the answer does not mention other types of contracts and cooperation that the city has with the aforementioned journalist and his company, and in particular, they do not mention why they gave the Photo Video company “Flash” a contract of 2,400 KM without VAT under the name “Procurement of gift packages for student champions” through a direct agreement. Does that also belong to the experience of the journalist and his company?

Instead of them, the answer was given by the MP Radislav Dončić, who said on social networks and for the Infoveza portal that Zoran Adžić is financing the projects of Milan Pilipović, while he is retaliating against him by praising him in various media.

“When Zoran Adžić came to power in Gradiška, Milan Pilipović denied BN all the information from our city, and started praising the mayor. Pilipović sponsored the shutdown of Medija Info+ because he persuaded Adžić to open Radio-Television of which he is the editor, but he is not listed anywhere as an employee of RTV Gradiška. The friendship between Pilipović and Adžić can be seen through public procurement, which I pointed out at the session of the Gradiško Assembly this summer. Thus, Adžić paid Pilipović over 20,000 KM in money from the citizens of Gradiška, and the media for which Pilipović works and publishes eulogies on behalf of Adžić was paid over 14,000 KM in money from the citizens of Gradiška”, explains Dončić, and his claims are supported by texts published by the disputed journalist which you can see.

Dončić says that it is time to start calling things by their real names and that from now on they will call everyone by name for, as he claims, robbing the people of Gradiška.

“While this is being done, in the meantime, water, electricity, heating, garbage collection and many other things are becoming more expensive for the citizens of Gradiška, and the mayor is spending tens of thousands of KM of public money on self-promotion. Gradiška is a city captured by Zoran Adžić and his henchmen, whom he owes behind the backs of the people,” said Dončić categorically.

Banja Luka journalist Goran Dakić points out that this attitude of journalists and the media towards their profession can hardly be called honourable.

“It is neither ethical nor professional. Journalists often think they can do more than is allowed, forgetting that this is exactly what disqualifies them from the industry. It is simply not possible to be a journalist and cooperate with any level of government. In fact, it is possible, but it is not normal and goes against all possible professional elements. In such cases, objective reporting cannot be separated from panegyrics or pamphlets. When someone pays you, they can always pay you to write or not to write something. And then that’s the end”, explains Dakić.

Interestingly, although we sent an official letter more than a month ago to the editorial office of the daily newspaper “Euroblic” and the “BH Journalists” Association, we have not received any response from them until today. The question remains why “BH journalists” do not respond to their colleagues on such important questions, given that they most likely face situations every day in which they cannot get the much-needed answers that are necessary for the purpose of fulfilling the ethical and professional code.

Writes: Stefan Blagić,

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