(TheConservativeTimes.org) – There are roughly 39 guns for every 100 people in Serbia. Even though Serbia is among the top European nations with the highest prevalence of firearm possession per capita, the country’s two mass shootings in a week were astonishingly unusual.
The shootings resulted in the deaths of 17 people, including children at a nursery school, and President Aleksandar Vucic of Serbia vowed to “disarm” the country in response.
The citizens took to the streets of Belgrade to protest the shootings, but they did not blame the guns. The protest was for the media to bear significant responsibility for the deaths, calling for the resignation of the heads of the press regulatory as well as calls for the media to stop promoting and producing violent content.
Serbs see these tragedies as a result of a culture where violence is increasingly celebrated in the media.
Reality TV shows are the dominant form of entertainment in Serbian media today. Two shows that have taken trash television to new heights—Zadruga on Pink TV and Parovi on Happy TV—have made even Big Brother seem like severe intellectual discourse. Many watch it. Many blame it for the spiraling of civility and the rapid rise of violent and degrading culture.
A participant on Parovi drank detergent, and even though this action landed her in the hospital, the filmmakers kept taping, pushing her to vomit. In Serbian reality TV, these incidents are typical. Nebojsa Vladisavljevic of Belgrade University said the producers invite convicted criminals to participate in the shows, and they talk about violence.
Critics claim these malicious programs, which normalize violence, give the state media the green light to expand their hate rhetoric.
After being accused of war crimes by the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia, Vojislav Seselj, the former Serbian deputy prime minister, has become a regular on TV and utilizes it as a platform for furious comments, as stated by Vladisavljevic.
While the media are “essential to maintaining power” in an “authoritarian regime like his,” Vladisavljevic argues that Aleksandar Vucic, the President, is unlikely to make any significant changes to Serbia’s media environment.
The public’s ire has not subsided in the meantime, and more demonstrations are planned to increase pressure on the administration.
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