Today is World Television Day. Kanblov’s Nova television is one of the most recognizable and most watched in Serbia. TV Nova news director Slobodan Georgiev talks to Danas about what kind of medium television is, what awaits it in the future, as well as the challenges of reviving television in our country.
* World Television Day is being celebrated, in what atmosphere is TV Nova welcoming it?
– TV Nova is the best, most watched and most influential cable TV station in Serbia, according to all indicators, and that is what makes everyone who works at it proud. Especially if it is taken into account that what we do is seen in a limited area, that our distributor is prevented from expanding its network, and that the regulator for electronic media does not implement the law according to which it should have made a decision on the allocation of a national frequency for the fifth TV station, and I believe that there is no better candidate than TV Nova. Our success and influence have led to the fact that it is impossible for us to be seen by everyone in Serbia, but the whole team is trying to reach an even greater number of viewers via the Internet.
* How do you assess the current situation in the electronic media in Serbia?
– In 11 years, the government in Serbia has completely taken control over the work and editing of the electronic media in Serbia to a level that has not been recorded either in Serbia or in the region, and this is a notorious fact. The media has been turned into an instrument of maintaining the government’s rating and thus has canceled itself out. Although it was a way for them to survive, and for many to be established, it is no justification for those who call themselves journalists to be servants of the people in power. So what is presented to the majority of the public as a TV station is actually the personal accounts of the government on social networks, and that is how the people from the government treat them. Fortunately, there are two TV stations, there are several local media that survive despite everything and fight for the public interest.
* Nova’s news program is recognizable and authentic, and Dnevnik just recently completed one year since the start of broadcasting as such, a changed format compared to the earlier “Review of the Day”. What kind of audience reactions does the critical approach to information, as nurtured by Nova’s information, cause?
– Our concept is simple and based on an understanding of the true nature of the media: the media is primarily there to inform citizens and protect the public interest. The public interest is the control of the powerful, from whatever side they come from – whether from politics, or from some other branch of government, or from business or crime. Our program is in this function, to support those who do not have their voice and who are treated unfairly, because in this way we can fight for a society of equal opportunities and the rule of law, not the rule of the stronger. Our program has “both smell and taste”, has an honest approach and wants the viewer to feel good and safe while on our channel. For now, it seems to me, we are succeeding in that.
* Television is one of the most powerful and influential channels of communication, how is that power used today?
– Television, like the media in general, is losing the battle with social networks and for that they themselves are the most responsible, because they did not value in the first place what they had as the greatest value, which is the trust of the audience in crisis situations. The media had no answer to the explosion of social networks and now most believe that with an entertainment program and focusing on entertainment, it could survive. Unfortunately, in my opinion, this is not possible and the only way is a combination of a credible informational program and an entertaining program that does not cross the line of good taste. When that limit is crossed, the media work against themselves because they cannot offer anything that is not already available on the Internet.
* The latest media research on the habits of their consumers, conducted by IREX and Ipsos, showed that television is still the dominant source of information, but that there is an increasing online audience, especially among young people. What do you think the future of television will look like, given the rise in popularity of various streaming platforms and other online sources of information?
The future of television depends on the ability to be credible, to have integrity. People will always need information to navigate the world and whoever is able to give them that information, regardless of age as the target group, will have a future. Television should fight for itself, and not be one of the services on the Internet. It should use the Internet, not be a content provider for the Internet. Furthermore, TV stations must, like all other “classical media”, be more combative when it comes to the distribution of profits on the Internet and demand from Internet distributors what is called “royalty” in music, that is, to collect copyrights for broadcasting programs which produces. It should be a global initiative because if someone wants to attract an audience based on what is produced on TV and make money from it, then they have to give some of that money back to the creators of the content.
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