|Slogan||"Naš mali jeretički medij"|
Type of site
|News, political analysis & commentary|
|Created by||Srđan Kusovac|
|75,614 (May 2014[update])|
E-novine is a web portal that publishes news and commentary from the former Yugoslav countries.
Based in Belgrade, edited by Petar Luković, and published in Bosnian, Croatian, Serbian and Montenegrin languages, E-novine has left wing, pro-Western, pro-EU, and pro-NATO editorial policy. It is also known for its willingness to print defamatory and controversial stories based on rumour and hearsay in the vein of UK's Private Eye or Canada's Frank.
E-novine was founded in November 2007 with Srđan Kusovac as its first editor-in-chief.
Petar Luković took over on 30 May 2008, bringing in a new group of people that became the new editorial staff. According to the website's About Us page, by the end of 2008, visits to the site increased dramatically and the number of visitors went up several hundred percent compared to the previous period with over a half of the new traffic coming from the ex-Yugoslav countries rather than Serbia itself.
During late summer 2009 E-novine reportedly faced a shut-down due to financial problems, which the portal claimed were caused by "the pressure from the Serbian regime". The web site remained in business, though, reportedly with the help of its readers' donations.
The beginning of 2010 reportedly led to another critical point under pressure of the regime through its advertisers, and E-novine appealed to its readers again. At the time, editor-in-chief Luković claimed that only media outlets loyal to then Serbian president Boris Tadić were allowed to be profitable, furthermore claiming that the web advertising in Serbia is monopolized by a handful of agencies, all owned or operated by people with close professional and personal ties to Tadić and the Democratic Party. Nevertheless, he pointed out that E-novine will continue to be completely independent and keep reexamining any regime that may be in power.
In spring 2012, during the election campaign ahead of the 2012 Serbian parliamentary, presidential, provincial, and local election, E-novine ran a Serbian Progressive Party (SNS) banner on its front page thus endorsing the political party led by Aleksandar Vučić and Tomislav Nikolić, both of whom had previously been, for almost two decades, among the leaders of the right-wing Serbian Radical Party (SRS). In reaction, E-novine and its editor Petar Luković received vitriolic, profanity-laced criticism from Nermin Čengić, E-novine's occasional contributor whose Protest.ba pieces were often re-posted on the E-novine portal.
Writing on Protest.ba, revolted by Luković's paid endorsement of Tomislav Nikolić and SNS, Čengić demanded revocation of Luković's 'honorary citizen of Sarajevo' honorific title, which was given to him during the mayoral term of Alija Behmen. Luković's posted response to Čengić's denouncement began in sarcastic fashion, before turning serious, defending himself by stating that a paid political ad doesn't constitute the portal's editorial policy switch toward supporting SNS, and finally ending by including private messages of support he received over this issue from the Montenegrin writer and Montenegro parliamentary speaker's media adviser Andrej Nikolaidis as well as Montenegrin journalist Tamara Nikčević. Furthermore Luković's written response contains claims of Čengić's statements supposedly verbalized in a private phone conversation with Luković, such as the one that 'all political parties in Serbia are proponents of the Chetnik ideology', which Luković used as basis to dismiss Čengić as an "intellectual Taliban". Čengić responded to this by denying he ever made such a remark to Luković in the said phone call before proceeding to further denounce Luković as a "sellout" and a "liar".
Pro-Vučić editorial policy
Following the 2012 parliamentary elections in Serbia that saw the Serbian Progressive Party (SNS) of Aleksandar Vučić and Tomislav Nikolić form a ruling coalition with Ivica Dačić's Socialist Party of Serbia (SPS), Luković's E-novine made the editorial shift towards unequivocally supporting Aleksandar Vučić, the newly formed cabinet's first deputy prime minister. This led to criticism from Luković's longtime political and ideological allies such as Mirjana Miočinović, Danilo Kiš's widow, who wrote him an open letter in August 2013, reprimanding and reproaching him over his refusal to post articles and pieces by authors critical of Vučić. Luković responding in mocking tone without addressing any of Miočinović's specific points, accusing her of doing the bidding for the Democratic Party (DS) and Liberal Democratic Party (LDP).
Petar Luković is the portal's editor-in-chief while Branislav Jelić is its director. Editorial office drew a dozen of junior editors and journalists from Belgrade, in addition to contributors from the entire region of Balkans such as Emir Imamović, Andrej Nikolaidis, Filip David, Mirko Kovač, Vladimir Arsenić, Nenad Veličković, Dženana Karabegović, Ljubomir Živkov and many others. Initially, the portal reunited the former staff of Feral Tribune from Split: Heni Erceg, Viktor Ivančić, Boris Dežulović and Predrag Lucić.
E-novine articles employ a subjective writing style, with elements of gonzo journalism, and are abundant in quotations, sarcasm, satire and profanity. E-novine's claims its editorial policy is not aimed at objective and global journalism; it mostly publishes critiques and opinion pieces that scrutinize the day-to-day politics of former Yugoslav republics as well as wider trends within the respective countries' societies. In February 2010, the portal's editor-in-chief Petar Luković described its policy:
|“||We have principles that are completely incompatible with journalism - first of all, there is no such thing as objective journalism, there is no other side, we are not interested in any facts from their pro-fascist repertoire, we don’t tolerate any hate speech of the right wing. Right-wing people, fanatics, various lunatics – you simply can't find them here. This portal is our small island of its own kind through which we communicate with normal people who still have some common sense left.||”|
Referring to itself as a "small heretical medium" due to what it considers to be its own marginalized position on the Serbian media scene, E-novine devotes particular attention to Serbian war crimes in the Yugoslav Wars as well as the role Serbian media had in the Yugoslav Wars. The majority of articles it publishes are harsh political satires and denouncements (written by Luković, Marković, Dežulović, Lucić and others) while s significant portion of the articles is being written by its readers. Apart from politics, the portal also deals with issues concerning society, culture, economy, sports and entertainment.
Writing in September 2009, Serbia-based journalist Branka Mihajlović of the United States Congress funded Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty referred to E-novine's editor-in-chief Luković as being "adored in the rest of the former Yugoslavia as much as he is despised in Serbia" while calling the portal a "specific project whose readers are most likely the same people who during Yugoslav Wars waited for Vreme each Friday to wipe down their soul or who bought Feral Tribune when such an act was life-threatening". In January 2010, she described the portal as an "outlet that publishes pieces by authors from all over the ex-Yugoslav region with a pronounced antiwar and anti-nationalist profile".
Also in September 2009, Bosnian Muslim journalist and E-novine contributor Emir Imamović considered E-novine to be a media outlet where "one can find something to hang his/her hat on" while adding that the portal "won over the readers who grew up with Feral Tribune, BH Dani, and Slobodna Bosna". Croatian journalist and author Ante Tomić said E-novine established itself as the first ex-Yugoslavia region-wide media outlet that transcends national and state boundaries.
E-novine faced numerous instances of criticism.
|“||Aiming at objectivity and facing the arguments of the other side is the basic principle of how public opinion works. Being a journalist and denying objectivity at the same time is the negation of media practice itself.||”|
Critics assume that repudiations of objectivity and 'giving the other side of an argument' show how E-novine‘s editorial office understands the freedom of the press: “there’s no freedom for the enemy of freedom.” They state that e-novine uses “appealing humor as a political resource against those who are not like-minded", namely nationalists, as a rule. E-novine is further criticized for allegedly not allowing the hate language from right-wing while allowing the equivalent from the left-wing.
Some authors accuse E-novine of “vulgarity” and “profane insults”, stating they are in the service of the Liberal Democratic Party (LDP), which is usually spared their criticism. On the other hand, LDP member Nenad Prokić made veiled accusations that internet portals E-novine and Pescanik caused the party to perform poorly at the local elections in the Belgrade municipality of Voždovac.
In May 2012, after himself being targeted in multiple insulting write-ups on the portal, prominent Serbian leftist columnist Teofil Pančić referred to E-novine as the Kurir of 'Other Serbia', a launchpad for cyber-lynching, and an outlet that has long ago degenerated into a specific kind of aggressive tabloid. He further continued: "E-novine welcome all manner of personal attacks, slander, and insults, directed at whoever is marked as a convenient target at a particular time. They began by targeting their traditional 'ideological enemies' from the Serbian public sphere (like Ljilja Smajlović for example whom they repeatedly eviscerated through constant mocking over physical traits and personal insults like obsessively bringing up her bangs and tits, etc.), but once the obvious enemies have all been shot dead over and over again so much so that the supply ran out and the schtick became tiresome, E-novine turned on their former friends from the anti-Milošević struggle. Then they began taking apart those that have similar political views for the unforgivable sin of those views not being perfectly 100% in line with E-novines own. Finally, even those having the exact same views weren't above being degraded as punishment for not expressing them aggressively enough for E-novine's liking. Basically, any little thing, no matter how small, becomes the basis for a barrage of insults. The assassination technique is always the same: first, a junior member of their newsroom grabs hold of you, covers you in feces, and throws you into a frying pan to crackle in cooking oil before leaving you to the anonymous cyber lynch-mob in the comments section that then dismembers you like rats eating a cadaver".
- "E-novine.com Site Info". Alexa Internet. Retrieved 2015-05-19.
- Naš mali jeretički medij;18 October 2008
- O nama
- E-novinama" preti gašenje;RFE/RL, 29 August 2009
- E-novine će opstati;RFE/RL, 9 September 2009
- E-novine pred gašenjem?;January 2010
- Luković: Ko sluša Tadića dobiće novac;RFE/RL, 13 January 2010
- Canetovi medijski krojači;Monitor, 27 September 2013
- Nermin Čengić at protest.ba
- Vraćaj orden, Lukoviću!;protest.ba, 24 April 2012
- Vraćaj orden, Lukoviću!;protest.ba, 24 April 2012
- Krio sam 20 godina, ubijao sam Sarajevo;E-novine, 24 April 2012
- Lažima se obraz ne pere;protest.ba April; 2012
- Pismo Petru Lukoviću;Peščanik, August 2013
- Ako vam je Biserko dobra, onda ništa;E-novine, 6 August 2013
- Najbolji čitaoci na svetu
- 2013 NED Annual Report: Serbia;ned.org
- Marinko M. Vučinić, E-novine – oaza normalnosti a i šire
- Strahinja Bogdanović, Depresija, bolest najmilija
- Stara jalovost;Nenad Prokić's blog at LDP.rs, 9 December 2009
- Četnik, histerik i drugi šizik metafizik;Vreme, 3 May 2012
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