None of the journalists who were targeted in Bosnia recently were attacked for reporting lies but for reporting the truth, and in a system where the same “oligarchies” are always in power, journalists will remain “punching bags”, columnist and philosophy professor Dragan Bursac told N1 on Friday.
There are thousands of reasons behind such attacks, he said, strongly criticising the judiciary for being ineffective while the police “sometimes does do its job.”
“When you live in such a habitus, then an attack on a journalist is almost a logical result. It’s sad, but that’s the way it is,” he said.
“We keep giving various reasons for this, so we say - it’s because of the elections, the electoral race, the election year, it is politics, it’s the economy - no! This represents primarily an attack on a human being, a Homosapien, and then also an attack on a journalist and on the dignity of all of us,” Bursac said.
He stressed that authorities should be the first to react in such a situation but that it is different in Bosnia.
“In fact, it’s the opposite, the system encourages all hooligans, all attackers, all political players, to transitionally conduct attacks on journalists. If an attack on a journalist is not punished, if 10 such attacks are not prosecuted, if 1,000 such attacks become the rule of the system, that tells us this - journalists are not allowed to ‘interfere’ in their own jobs,” Bursac said.
Bursac commented on recent attacks on N1’s Nikola Vucic, who received death threats after posting a sarcastic critical comment online, as well as on Semira Degirmendzic, who was targeted after revealing alleged crime by top officials regarding the controversial procurement of overpriced ventilators which are unfit for treating COVID-19.
“None of these journalists were targeted for reporting lies. People are being targeted because of the truth and they are left to fend for themselves,” he said.
Bursac argued that those in power in such a system must be replaced in order for this to change, but added that “we won’t be able to do this in the foreseeable future.”
“First of all, both the general and the local elections are set up in such a way that you always have the same oligarchy with always the same people there and the same people always come to power for 30 years,” he said.
“Elections in such a habitus, in such a country, with such political actors, will not change anything. If you have the option to choose between option A and option B, which is even worse than option A, then you can achieve nothing,” he said.
“So with these political oligarchies, with this prosecutor’s office, with this election method, we won't change those in power, and thus remove the leverage of this government," he stressed.
Bursac said that journalists in this country are being attacked from all sides.
“Journalists are somehow targets for blowing off steam over all that is bad in this country,” he concluded.