The co-owner of United Group Dragan Šolak and the leader of the Freedom and Justice Party Dragan Đilas have been exposed. They intended to first start a war against Telekom and Telenor, and then to pass themselves off as victims in the ensuing artificially created mayhem. However, it turns out that the power duo from hell got carried away playing their war games and was left without both ammunition and defences.
Everyone has distanced themselves from them, knowing well that they weren't interested in the truth in the first place, that to them media freedom is a smokescreen for raking in cash, and that their media machinery has long since trampled on all professional and ethical standards and turned into influence peddling.
Pot-stirrers out in the open
Other than those on their payroll, few people believe their whining or jump to their defence. There is no one left to help them defend this fake notion of allegedly putting at risk the mighty United Group and its media, which stop at nothing as they work around the clock defending the interests of their owners. Most notable among them are the TV channels N1 and Nova S, the Danas daily, and the Nova.rs portal.
Everyone knows well that Šolak and Đilas are so arrogant and unscrupulous that they dared to ruthlessly exploit the topic of media freedom for their purely financial interests, dragging it as a matter of course in all their media into the muck of their own making. This is why in this dirty fight they only rely on their own people – who they employ and who receive money from them. This is why the most gung-ho among them are TV host Ivan Ivanović, the president of the IJAS Željko Bordožić, the director of TV N1 Jugoslav Ćosić, the Daily Round-up editor on Newsmax Adria Slobodan Georgiev, the editor of Danas Dragoljub Petrović, and journalists Žaklina Tatalović and Jelena Obućina. The rest – those who don't depend on their shekels – have long since figured out who the pot-stirrers are in telecommunications and what kind of profits make the fake topic of putting United Group at risk the headline news on Šolak and Đilas's media.
Not used to fair and square
It is crystal clear that these media are only concerned with the topics that their owners see as tangibly beneficial to them. The model that they use immediately puts one in mind of mob-style dealings – either you're with us or you're a goner. In fact, many people on social media have noticed that United Group had no objections to Telekom when it was in a contractual relationship with this domestic company that was similar to the one planned by Telekom and Telenor. To be frank, unused as they are to a fair market competition and competitors who strive to be better, Šolak and Đilas have been putting a bad spin on it, trying to sell to the public the story of an alleged threat against media freedom rather than what it actually is – a bare fight for profit.
Journalist Jakša Šćekić has noted that this business is merciless and that the easiest thing to do is holler about threats to media freedom.
"In Serbia it's very popular to holler about media freedom being threatened, but when you shed some light on it, it's becomes clear what interests lie at the bottom. We keep forgetting that, when the set of media laws were being passed, an article was amended under pressure from Brussels, allowing cable operators to produce content. It was then that SBB got the opportunity to have its own channels. We are also forgetting that the conflict with Telekom arose when SBB made its channels unavailable, proceeding to put a price tag on them that was through the roof. And they wouldn't talk about that price. I'm not surprised by the United Group media reports, because nowadays there is no such thing as objective reporting. Everyone reports in accordance with the editorial policy and in line with the political platform they support," Šćekić explained.