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Kreni-Promeni: Rio Tinto should disclose how much money it provides to the media in Serbia for positive coverage

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The Kreni-Promeni movement announced today that there is currently propaganda through government-friendly media lobbying for lithium mining and requested that the company Rio Tinto disclose how much money it provides to the media in Serbia.

In its statement, Kreni-Promeni noted that according to media monitoring conducted by the movement’s Campaign Team, government-friendly media have been very actively writing and reporting about lithium and Rio Tinto over the past two weeks.

“Lithium was mentioned 239 times, and Rio Tinto 67 times. Of these, the reporting on lithium was predominantly positive, with 85 percent of the coverage being favorable, and for Rio Tinto, it was 77 percent,” the statement said.

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Kreni-Promeni stated last year that Rio Tinto allocated two million euros for lobbying through media, analysts, influencers, and politicians for the year 2023, and now claims that this budget is significantly higher for this year.

“The value of the media space for these two weeks of lobbying for lithium and Rio Tinto, according to the methodology for calculating media space, amounts to 358,628 euros,” the statement assessed.

Savo Manojlović, the campaign director of the Kreni-Promeni movement, asked Rio Tinto how and in what manner it finances the media and whether it does so in accordance with Serbian laws.

“Is the influence on the media carried out through the payment of media and journalists, through politicians, and through embassies? We are also particularly interested in whether the communication between Rio Tinto and politicians is conducted in accordance with the Law on Lobbying?” asked Manojlović.

He added that it is also particularly interesting to see the emergence of pro-government analysts who have suddenly become great experts on lithium mining.

“On the national frequency of Pink Television, individuals who were until recently part of a joint NGO with the current advisor of Rio Tinto for media lobbying are appearing as independent analysts,” Manojlović said.

He also stated that Radio Television of Serbia (RTS) plays a complicit role by remaining silent on this issue, while other national frequency televisions “conduct lobotomy and manipulate public opinion” to ecologically destroy the Jadar area for the interests of a foreign multinational company.

“The president of the country openly lobbies through the public service, as does Minister Đedović, who was directly delegated to this position by Rio Tinto. At the same time, there is no opportunity on RTS for the official proponents of the Law on the Prohibition of Boron and Lithium Mining, who are official proponents of the law through a citizens’ initiative with 38,000 signatures, to present their views. By doing so, RTS officially violates the Law on Public Information along with all other media,” said Manojlović.

Source : Danas

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