RTK2 journalist facing suspension for using the term ‘Kosovo and Metohija’

Foto: RTK2

RTK2 journalist, Aleksandra Dogandzic is facing suspension for using the term “Kosovo and Metohija” while reporting the news on May 3rd, Kosovo media reported today.

The RTK chief executive officer, Ngadhnjim Kastrati announced Dogandzic’s suspension, citing RTK regulations.

„I have not seen the case yet, but such language is absolutely not allowed. There is no Kosovo and Metohija. Such language is not allowed in our institutions. A journalist must not use this term, because according to regulations its use can be sanctioned,“ Kastrati told Insajderi on Monday, Indeksonline reported.

A source from RTK told KoSSev that there are no internal documents that regulate or prohibit the use of the term „Kosovo and Metohija“. The same source also revealed that the Dogandzic has been punished in the past for using the term.

The RTK source explained that the disciplinary board previously referred to the articles of the law on RTK, which prohibit the spread of racial and religious intolerance, as well as inappropriate behavior within RTK. The chief executive officer has the right to review that decision and his review is generally mitigating.

Used together, the toponyms “Kosovo and Metohija” are regularly condemned by the Kosovo public. At the end of 2018, a constitutional discussion was launched on whether the Kosovo Ministry of Administration and Local Self-Government should accept resignations of Serb mayors of the northern municipalities because this term was used in their resignation.

The Ballkaninfo portal described the meaning and use of this term in the following way:

Kosovo and Metohija is a term that was initiated by the Serbian Academy of Sciences and Arts a few years ago, but it was widely used by Serbian politics and the people during the time of dictator and criminal Slobodan Milosevic. This term describes Kosovo as two territories, ‘Kosovo and Dukagjini’ and aims to divide Kosovo into two parts.“

At the same time, Albanians use the term „Dukagjini“ for the geographical area known among Serbs as „Metohija“.

The term „Metohija“, however, has been part of Serbian history long before the time of Slobodan Milosevic. It is linked to medieval Serbia, when the Greek word „metoh“ was used to signify church land. The Orthodox Church owns several metohs in this area.

Journalist „did not learn her lesson“

The Ballkaninfo portal, in addition to connecting this term with Slobodan Milosevic’s regime and revealing that Dogandzic used the same term in 2018 and was suspended for doing so, estimated that the journalist „did not learn her lesson“.

UNS: Albanian media should not call for the lynching of Dogandzic

After several Kosovo media wrote about Dogandzic’s use of this term, UNS and its branch in Kosovo reacted, urging them to stop with the calls for the lynching of RTK2 journalist Aleksandra Dogandzic. They also condemned the „inappropriate campaign by the Albanian media“ against Dogandzic.

“The majority of the media in Pristina announced yesterday that journalist Dogandzic used the term ‘Kosovo and Metohija’ in the news on May 4th, while referring to Kosovo, indicating that it is unacceptable for a journalist ‘paid with taxpayers’ money to serve the discriminatory policies of Slobodan Milosevic and Serbia,’“ UNS wrote in a statement, adding that they strongly oppose for Dogandzic to be disciplined for using the term. They also stressed that the RTK2 collective should shut down production if Dogandzic is sanctioned.

Dogandzic: I’m scared

Dogandzic told UNS that she feels threatened.

„I am scared because this news was picked up (cf. by the Kosovo media) because my photo was published along with worrisome comments on social networks – that I should be expelled from Kosovo,“ she said, UNS statement reads.

The announced sanctions against Dogandzic were also condemned by Srpska Lista. The largest Kosovo Serb party assessed that it is a case of „stifling freedom of expression and an ethnically-motivated attack on the journalists of the Serbian editorial office of the RTK channel.“

Prior to the news been published, KoSSev was unable to get in touch with journalist Aleksandra Dogandzic.

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