Four tabloids in Serbia with the largest circulation, Informer, Srpski Telegraf, Alo and Kurir, published at least 945 fake or unfounded news on their cover pages in 2019, the Raskrinkavanje (Unmasking) website reported on Friday.
The Informer tabloid tops the list with 317 discovered lies, followed by Alo with 259, Srpski Telegraf with 227 and Kurir with 142 front pages.
They mostly lied about the opposition, while President Aleksandar Vucic was exclusively presented positively, along with his Russian counterpart Vladimir Putin, the website said.
It added that the ‘treasury’ of lies was full of foreign news for the whole year. The usual enemies remained the Albanians, Kosovo leaders and NATO.
The announcements of special wars against Vucic, attacks on him, false claims about spy affairs and Krusik story (the ammunition factory where shady arms trade sale was linked to the father of Serbia’s Interior Minister), were also main topics.
As before, the tabloids published unfounded news, impossible to verify or attributed to anonymous sources, lacking crucial facts for the context.
The website journalists did not follow the sports and showbiz news, so the number of media manipulations might have been higher.
Those tabloids are regularly financed from the local communities’ budgets in the form of projects co-financing and public procurement, though they also regularly violate the Code of Serbia’s Journalists, the website added.