Spiric: Press conference live-streamed without our consent

„Unfortunately, yesterday we had the situation in which a live stream (cf. of the press conference) was shared without our consent,“ the head of the Kosovska Mitrovica Provisional Authority, Aleksandar Spiric said at a daily press conference today of the Serbian-sponsored North Mitrovica emergency team for the coronavirus outbreak.

Yesterday’s press conference was live-streamed on Facebook by the KoSSev portal.

Spiric told KoSSev portal journalist, Ivan Mitic that he was sorry that we had „too much free time“ and that we were not dealing with the fight against coronavirus, but with „all sorts of questions“ that primarily contribute to „lack of stabilization“, and especially (cf. the possibility of) „dealing with political issues and what is actually coming from Pristina“.

The head of the Provisional Authority then asked the KoSSev portal „in what way we contributed and how much we have contributed as a portal in the joint struggle“. He also called for „the best possible level of solidarity among journalists“.

When asked by the KoSSev portal journalist based on what rule are the media not allowed to live-stream a press conference, what agreement was breached, and what kind of equality or collegiality is this all about, and why KoSSev still does not receive information on the emergency team conferences, Spiric replied:

„I am terribly sorry that you have too much free time. It is clear that you are not exclusively engaged in this fight – which is to motivate young people to volunteer, to help their friends, neighbours. In what way and how much did your portal contribute to this joint struggle? The emergency team is not the only one involved in this struggle, it is a struggle of every individual.“

Speaking about whether a press conference can be live-streamed, he said:

„It’s clearly regulated. Live streaming is possible if there are technical possibilities to do so. But I do believe that we should bear the journalist code of ethics in mind, primarily through associations, I suppose you are also a part of some association. Therefore, solely for that reason, you should respect your colleagues – with whom we are all working together to be informed in the right way.”

Spiric also asked us to be “more motivated” in the coming period in “promoting volunteers” to become involved in helping the elderly and their neighbours and fellow citizens.

He also stressed that North Mitrovica is „our city“ and that we must „love and safeguard and contribute“ to Mitrovica, as well as display a „note of humanity“.

„And we can distort the image at any time. We are not interested in it and we will always inform the people publicly and transparently, but I am returning to the question because of colleagues who have been here with us for quite a long time, like you, so nothing is disputable with your media outlet and other portals,“ he said.

Following a KoSSev journalist’s comment that video streams of coronavirus media conferences are common in other media in Serbia and the world and that KoSSev wrote about volunteers as well, Spiric asked the journalist if he wanted to „argue“ with him.

„I kindly ask you to help us and to turn your attention to the fight against COVID-19 and not to all sorts of questions that primarily contribute to lack of stabilization. And especially when dealing with political issues and what is actually coming from Pristina and what is suitable for us to respond to at this moment,“ Spiric said.

The KoSSev portal live-streamed a press conference of the Serbian-sponsored North Mitrovica emergency team on Facebook yesterday. The emergency team announces the latest information regarding the coronavirus outbreak in the north at these conferences, which are held daily.

In addition to the KoSSev portal journalist, the conference was attended by journalists and media crews from TV Most, Kosovoonline, Radio Kosovska Mitrovica, Radio Kontakt Plus and RTK2.

The majority of Serbian and Kosovo institutions headed by Srpska Lista officials stopped sending announcements and calls to the KoSSev portal several years ago. In addition, the heads of these institutions do not respond to our calls or written inquires.

KoSSev will inform journalistic associations and institutions dealing with the protection of journalists and media freedom about this event.

Preuzimanje i objavljivanje tekstova sa portala KoSSev nije dozvoljeno bez navođenja izvora. Hvala na poštovanju etike novinarske profesije.