E-novine

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E-novine
E-novine logo.gif
Web address www.e-novine.com
Slogan "Naš mali jeretički medij"
Commercial? Yes
Type of site News, political analysis & commentary
Available in Serbian
Owner E-NOVINE d.o.o.
Created by Srđan Kusovac
Launched November 2007
Alexa rank negative increase 75,614 (May 2014)[1]
Current status Active

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.

There are at least nine libel lawsuits pending against E-novine, two filed by Emir Kusturica and one by Stojan Drčelić.

History[edit]

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.[2] 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.[3]

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".[4] The web site remained in business, though, reportedly with the help of its readers' donations.[5]

The beginning of 2010 reportedly led to another critical point under pressure of regime through its advertisers, and E-novine appealed to the readers again.[6] 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.[7]

Serbian Progressive Party (SNS) ad banner[edit]

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 were previously 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,[8] E-novine's occasional contributor whose Protest.ba pieces[9] 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.[10][11] 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.[12] 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".[12] 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".[13]

Editorial staff[edit]

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.[2]

Editorial policy[edit]

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:

Referring to itself as a "small heretical medium" due to what it considers to be its own marginalized position on the Serbian media scene,[2] 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.[3]

Financing[edit]

In 2013, E-novine received US$35,000 from the National Endowment for Democracy (NED).[15]

Reception[edit]

Positive[edit]

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".[5] 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".[7]

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".[5] 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.[5]

Negative[edit]

E-novine faced numerous instances of criticism.

Critics assume that repudiations of objectivity and other side show how E-novine‘s editorial office understands the freedom of the press: “there’s no freedom for the enemy of freedom.”[16] They state that e-novine uses “appealing humor as a political resource against those who are not like-minded", namely nationalists, as a rule.[16] They are further criticized for allegedly not allowing the hate language from right-wing while allowing the same from the left-wing.[16]

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.[17] 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.[18]

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".[19]

References[edit]

External links[edit]