Ministry of defence Republic of Serbia

Media Centre “Odbrana” Day celebrated

A ceremony to mark Media Centre “Odbrana” Day and 144th anniversary of Serbian military press was held at the Central Military Club today. On that occasion, awards were presented to Media Centre’s best collaborators and the winner of “Ivan Marinković” journalism award.
Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Defence Miloš Vučević and Chief of the Serbian Armed Forces General Staff, General Milan Mojsilović, have sent messages of congratulations on the occasion of the Media Centre “Odbrana” Day. Today's ceremony was attended by State Secretary at the Ministry of Defence, Nemanja Starović, advisor to the President of the Republic of Serbia, Dejan Savić, high-ranking officers of the Ministry of Defence and the Serbian Armed Forces and numerous public figures.

Extending his congratulations, State Secretary Starović said that in the search for traces of military thought, as well as for culture which focuses on military ethos, tradition and written word, whether it was written in a magazine or between the covers of military books, the road inevitably leads us to Serbia’s Central Military Club, "because this building, as a unique monument and proof of the existence of the military in Serbia, is the right place to carry out that search and a special symbol of the existence of a freedom-loving nation".
  - The citizens of Belgrade who are interested in the arts, as well as the wider public, know that this hall hosts the biggest promotions of books published by the only Serbian military publishing house, which produces more and more titles every year, building a recognizable image among Serbian publishing companies and that cultural events, which the Central Military Club abounds in, are often sold out - State Secretary Starović pointed out.
According to him, this very day is an opportunity to say that Media Centre "Odbrana" is made up of people "who are dedicated to their work, aware of the importance of the activity entrusted to them".

- And just as we firmly say, particularly in difficult times, that the Serbian Armed Forces are ready to protect their people and homeland at any moment, so we can proudly say that this institution is ready to fulfil all its tasks and address all the challenges that lie ahead. And we know that they are not easy, because the written word has never been more important or more expensive, because it spreads quickly, resonates strongly and is heard far away. That is why it must be objective, measured and clear, it must explain and convince the well-intentioned. And yet strong and communicated loudly enough, for those others, in order to remain a rampart in these times of relativization and attempts to revise history and traditional values ​​- emphasized the State Secretary at the Ministry of Defence, noting that "the hardworking staff of Media Centre "Odbrana" know this” and that they are "ready to maintain high standards to which they have accustomed us in previous years".
Director of the Media Centre "Odbrana", Lieutenant Colonel Biljana Pašić, looked back on 2022 and emphasized that the history of the military press was always the history of the time in which it had been created - a significant testimony of the past, as well as the present.

- That is why today, trying to summarize everything that Media Centre "Odbrana" does in a year, I choose the word visibility. Because everything we do here, whether it is newswriting, publishing or hosting exhibitions, is done for the public and is visible every day - said Lieutenant Colonel Pašić. She is proud that last year, for the second time in a row, "Odbrana" magazine won the European Military Press Association’s (EMPA) award for the best photo published in European military magazines, which, she said, "is another confirmation of the importance of "Odbrana" in the European framework".
This year, the "Ivan Marković Award” went to Jelena Spasić, a "Kurir" daily journalist, for her article "Homeland Comes First", published on September 25, 2022. Nemanja Starović, State Secretary at the Ministry of Defence, presented the award to the journalist.
  Over the past year, Media Centre “Odbrana” closely collaborated with numerous government and cultural institutions, as well as with prominent individuals who significantly contributed to its reputation and success.
Thanks to collaborative effort of Media Centre "Odbrana" and the Yugoslav Cinematheque in mid-July last year, after a break which lasted for several years, a summer cinema was opened on the Central Military Club’s terrace. Media Centre "Odbrana" presented the Yugoslav Cinematheque with a special award for successful cooperation - the Plaque of the Ministry of Defence of the Republic of Serbia. The director of that institution, Jugoslav Pantelić, was given the plaque by Head of the Public Relations Department, Colonel Assoc. Prof. Mihailo Zogović, PhD.
  This year's Special Award for Cooperation went to the Gallery of the Radio and Television of Serbia. Jelena Knežević, Head of the Central Military Club’s Gallery, presented the award to Deputy Director-General of RTS, Aleksandra Jelisavac.
When it comes to exhibitions, the Associate of the Year Award - the Plaque of Media Centre “Odbrana” went to the "Sava Šumanović" Picture Gallery and the Museum of Naive Art "Ilijanum". Lieutenant Colonel Biljana Pašić presented awards to the director of the "Sava Šumanović" Picture Gallery, Jovana Lakić, and acting director of the Museum of Naive Art "Ilijanum", Marija Pokrajac.
The Contributor of the Year Plaque was awarded to Colonel Assoc. Prof. Slobodan Đukić. The award was presented to him by Editor-in-Chief of "Obrana" magazine, Dragana Marković.
  The Author of the Year Plaque went to Prof. Dragan Cvetković. The award was presented to him by the head of Media Centre’s Publishing Department, Goran Janjić.

At today's ceremony, a film was shown about last year’s accomplishments of the MOD's Public Relations Department and its subordinate institutions. Soloists Biljana Vasiljević Mitrović and Major Duško Stamenković performed music, accompanied by the Mixed Choir and “Stanislav Binički" Artistic Ensemble’s Orchestra.
The exhibition "Editors-in Chief of Military Magazines 1879-2023 - from ‘Ratnik’ to ‘Odbrana’" was held in the Central Military Club’s atrium, featuring 68 editors-in-chief of “Ratnik”, “Front”, “Narodna Armija”, “Vojska” and “Odbrana”.

The Media Centre "Odbrana" Day is celebrated in memory of January 24, 1879, when the first issue of the military newspaper "Ratnik" was published in Serbia, whose tradition is continued by "Odbrana" magazine.