Clickbait titles quicker than the decision of the Council of Ministers

FOTO: Printscreen/BN portal

„THE EUROPEAN PARLIAMENT REACHED A DECISION! Visas for Kosovo Serbs with passports of the Coordination Administration have been canceled“, „It has been decided! The European Parliament approved visa liberalization for holders of Serbian passports from Kosovo and Metohija“, „The European Parliament approved visa liberalization for Serbs from Kosovo and Metohija“, „EP revoked visas for citizens of Kosovo and Metohija with Serbian passports“, „Visas for citizens of Kosovo and Metohija with Serbian passports were canceled“, „Visa liberalization approved for Serbs from Kosmet“ – read the headlines shared by a number of portals in Serbia, three days after the second step – in this three-step-process – was implemented towards a visa-free regime for Serbian passports issued by the Coordination Administration.

On Tuesday, the European Parliament voted for visa liberalization for citizens of Kosovo who are holders of Serbian passports, by adopting the report of the rapporteur for this issue, Matjaž Nemec.

A total of 406 deputies out of 597 voted for this decision, while 97 were against and 94 abstained.

The decision requires consent in the form of confirmation of the decision by the Council of Ministers of the European Union, by a qualified majority vote, and is set to become effective after it is published in the Official Gazette. It is expected that this will happen in mid-May, and that the holders of these passports will start traveling visa-free from July.

Accordingly, the final decision on visa liberalization for the only Europeans who need a visa to travel to the Schengen area has not yet been made.

Can readers be properly informed with this information?

Immediately after the adoption of the report in the European Parliament, the front pages of the portals in Serbia were flooded with headlines based on which the average reader would assume that the process was over.

Apart from the click bait title, some articles even fail to include the fact that there is another stage until the final decision is made, and that the process is practically not over.

The Mondo portal reported this Tuesday that the visas for Serbs from Kosovo who have passports of the Coordination Administration have been revoked.

Apart from the title with the misleading information, the text published on this portal also does not include the full information about this process.

„Today, the European Parliament approved visa liberalization for holders of Serbian passports from Kosovo, which are issued by the Coordination Administration of Serbia. The MPs adopted the report prepared by Matjaž Nemec, the rapporteur for the abolition of visas for citizens of Kosovo with passports of the Coordination Administration of Serbia and which was adopted on April 9 by the Committee of the European Parliament for Internal Affairs, Justice and Civil Liberties“ – reads part of the text shared by this portal.

Tabloid Alo shared an almost identical report, with the headline: European Parliament cancels visas for Serbs from Kosovo and Metohija who have passports issued by the Coordination Administration. This tabloid also did not include all the details of the process, not in the title or even in the text itself.

„Today, the European Parliament approved visa liberalization for holders of Serbian passports from Kosovo, which are issued by the Coordination Administration of Serbia. The deputies adopted the report prepared by Matjaž Nemec, the rapporteur for the abolition of visas for citizens of Kosovo with passports of the Coordinating Administration of Serbia and which was adopted on April 9 by the Committee of the European Parliament for Internal Affairs, Justice and Civil Liberties“ says part of the article on the issue published on Tuesday.

Belgrade-based Informer reported about the news that Nemec’s report was adopted with the title: „It has been decided! The European Parliament approved visa liberalization for holders of Serbian passports from Kosovo and Metohija“.

Unlike the previous media outlets, Informer specified in the text that the final decision, i.e. the confirmation of the Council of Ministers of the European Union, is pending.

The same was done by the Tanjug news agency, as well as Radio Television of Serbia (RTS), which chose the following headline: „The European Parliament canceled the visas of Serbs from Kosovo and Metohija who have passports of the Coordination Administration.“ Although they did not deliver full information in the title, they did so in the article itself.

RTV shared a similar headline: „European Parliament approved visa liberalization for holders of Serbian passports from Kosovo and Metohija“, as did Politika: „Visa liberalization for Serbs from Kosmet approved.“

Citing RTS’ allegations, the Direktno and Nezavisne novine portals also reported that „the EP canceled visas for citizens of Kosovo and Metohija with a Serbian passport.“ However, in the text, they did not include the information that there is another step to finalize this process. They only shared a short text on the fact that visa liberalization was approved by the adoption of Nemec’s report.

Have the readers been misled?

Readers who only read the headlines in the last three days, perhaps making plans to travel with the passport of the Coordination Administration, would soon realize that they were actually misled.

This problem occurs when media use a click bait title or a title that is significantly different from the content itself or, as in these cases, the full information is nowhere to be found.

And what about citizens who found out about the news based on a headline shared by the BN portal in November of last year.

Read more:

Will holders of „second class“ travel documents, who cannot obtain Kosovo ones, finally get good news?



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