Profile: Aleksandar Tijanic, Serbian Information Minister
4 June 1996
Date of Birth:
December 13, Djakovica, Kosovo.
High School, never completed his studies of journalism at the Belgrade University, school of Political Science.
"I'm from a very Serb family, I could say ultra-Serb. In WWII my father was with the Chetniks and partisans for two years each... I am a Serb of Montenegrin origin. My grandfathers were Montenegrins and we evolved into Serbs... But I am also a Yugoslav."
Married, father of two: daughter Zara and son Stefan.
Wanted to become a basketball pro but got a job in the morgue at NIN weekly. Published his first article in 1976.
Editor of almost all of Politika's publications: Auto Svet the NIN annex on cars; NIN (editorial board member several times); Intervju (1984-85); Sports Journal (June 1991); RTV Politika (September 1993); Telegraf (1994) and since then director of BK TV. Columnist for Danas (Zagreb), Slobodna Dalmacija (Split), Mladina (Ljubljana), anchored talk shows on Belgrade and Sarajevo TV. Author of two books - What Will Happen to Us (1988) and How Bolshevism Broke Up - The Secret Life of Serbs, Croats and Slovenes (1990).
How He Is Seen:
"Aggressive, deadly, capable, ironic. Persona non grata to some, living legend to others; intelligent and fierce. Likes to be witty. Talented essayist and lucid analyst."
How Did He Come to Head BK TV:
"When I was fired in TV Politika, I was jobless for three months. As soon as the Karic brothers started their TV they went looking for the best director and editor in chief. They were sent to me with the remark: "Watch it, he's the best but he could create political problems."
What Does He Think of Milosevic:
"Everything he had, the envious say, is now replaced by loyal police, apparatchiks and when he needs them the members of the SK-PJ,"(NIN, March 29, 1991). "After this session of the Serbian parliament we could say - if that's not too much praise - that Slobodan Milosevic is an artist of politics as Van Gogh was in painting. Both lack one ear: just enough to create a sound image of the world", (NIN, June 7, 1991).
Of Mira Markovic:
"I think of Mrs. Markovic as a friend and she will be that always. I know she is against the war and profiteers and that her stand includes a civilizational package that is similar to mine. The next important reason why I'll always be her friend is that she had coffee with me when I was under an anathema and couldn't get published in NIN."
What Is the Serbian Political Scene:
"Full of clowns. When the electorate finds out the truth one day about some of their idols, they'll beat them to death."
He was a member of the Serbian party under Communism. In multi-partyism he's not a member of any party. Did a media promotion for the democratic party, thought up their slogan - Honestly.
Does he believe the Press:
"Since I work in the press I know how they're made - I don't believe one word", (1988).
The Biggest Problem in Serbian Journalism:
"Tragic illiteracy. I can't describe the amount of illiteracy in Serbian journalism. What's worst, that journalism is being stimulated by the authorities and the opposition", (1996).
Journalism as a Profession:
"I started hating journalism, journalists and myself. There's too much talk about it because we insist too much on falsifying reality and because of that we are important. And we should only do our job and I think the whole essence lies in that. Whoever does not accept that logic should fuck off and that's that", (1990).
What Kind of Predictor is He:
Bad. Example 1: "In 100 days, the socialist authorities have worn down so much that managing the Serbian state, in existing ways, is impossible", (NIN, March 29, 1991). Example 2: For Milosevic "significant concessions to the Croats would be suicide", (NIN, March 29, 1991).
Most Pronounced Trait:
Does not forgive anyone.
What Will He Do as Minister:
"As soon as I grasp the situation and make plans, I'll inform you."