Ministry of defence Republic of Serbia

145th Anniversary of Military Press and Day of Media Centre “Odbrana”

Today, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Defence Miloš Vučević attended the ceremony marking the 145th jubilee of the military press in Serbia and the Day of Military Centre “Odbrana” of the Public Relations Department that was held in the Central Military Club of the Serbian Armed Forces.
On that occasion, the minister of defence presented a journalist reward to the winner of the contest “Ivan Marković”, which is traditionally awarded for the reporting on activities of the ministry of Defence and the Serbian Armed Forces in the previous year. The winner is the reporter of the “Prva” television station, Milica Savić, for the story about a girl, Anđela Milojević, a karate champion who is growing up in difficult living conditions desiring to enrol on the Military Academy.

Addressing the gathered at today’s celebration, Minister Vučević reminded of the words of General Jovan Mišković, the founder of the magazine the “Warrior”, the first official military magazine, who later became the Minister of the Military, Chief of Main General Staff, and member of the Serbian Academic Society and President of the Serbian Academy of Science.
- I am certain that he would have been proud of everything that you have done, and of the results achieved, and that he was proud of everything that he had done together with his associates on that 24th January 1879. Guided by Mišković’s visionary idea that the “military without its magazine is like a man without speech”, you, his successors, have achieved, throughout almost century and a half, that our armed forces have never remained silent. Let us remind ourselves that military magazines came out under different titles both in times of peace, and in times when our people was going through the greatest historical challenges and whirlwinds of war. Today, we are witnessing that the Serbian Armed Forces has preserved and maintained its thought and word. That is the thought and word of freedom and patriotism - Minister Vučević stressed.

He added that the Media Centre “Odbrana”, with its journalist-informative and publishing activity and organisation of cultural events, is one of the most fruitful issues of the idea that our armed forces have to be continuously present in the public arena, because they have been a part of the people since its establishment and that is how it will continue to be.
- That is its primary and one of the first tasks. That is not a job; that is a calling - to serve the people of our fatherland, our Serbia. Hence, is there a place more worthy than the Central Military Club, former Warriors’ Club, in the heart of the capital, for the power and beauty of the written word, military non-fiction and art to grow? Owing to the dedicated work of all members of the Media Centre “Odbrana” and the generations of their predecessors, this edifice has remained a symbol of the values of our sublime service, a meeting place of cultural workers and citizens who share the love for the Serbian Armed Forces and love for the art. In addition, I tell you on this place that we will cherish and develop our Warriors’ Club to be a witness to future generations of the freedom-loving spirit of our people - Minister Vučević pointed out.

He expressed his belief that we would together have an opportunity to see a refreshed face of that symbol of both our state and our capital, and of the Ministry of Defence and Serbian Armed Forces.
- Because of that, I give recognition to you, whose efforts and creativity are interwoven in the results of this institution and entire Public Relations Department, and I wish that, in the period to come, you maintain the highest professional, aesthetic and artistic standards in plausible presentation of the image and work of the Ministry of Defence and Serbian Armed Forces, and the ideals that we serve and that will always be our trait. As long as we breathe those ideals will be and are the freedom, safe and thriving our only fatherland, our Serbia - Minister Vučević stated.

At the end of his address, the minister of defence particularly reflected on the significance of new media for the information of the generations to come.

- I ask from you who are the most deserving for the fact that we have gathered here, the inheritors of the great and serious legacy of General Mišković, to understand the new times and new circumstances. I am glad to see that you use modern communication systems and I call upon you to be particularly dedicated to the promotion and presentation of what future tasks of the Ministry of Defence and Serbian Armed Forces will be, since, new generations will come who do not use only the traditional media. We have to communicate with them through media that are becoming ever more present and ever more dominant - Minister Vučević stressed.
According to him, we all have to be aware of that reality in the context of defence of our country, which is important for all citizens of our country.

- Especially now as we open serious topics for our society, such as the lifting of the suspension of mandatory military service, and generally, the promotion of everything that is the pride of a state, and one of the pillars of the state is certainly the issue of defence, or its military. Hence, if you are dedicated, hardworking, and I believe successful in that, it will be easier to reach to the people, to explain why some decisions are made, or why some issues are opened.  It will be easier to explain that it is not directed against anyone, but to the benefit of all of us; all the citizens of the state and chiefly the generations to come. I congratulate you on this great jubilee, I wish you a happy Day of the Media Centre “Odbrana”, and I congratulate you 145th anniversary of the military press - Minister Vučević stated.

Director of Media Centre “Odbrana” Colonel Biljana Pašić reminded of several-decade long tradition of military press as the face of our armed forces and the Ministry of Defence. She stressed that owing to the dedicated work of all members of the Media Centre “Odbrana” and the generations of their predecessors, that edifice remained the place of gathering of the citizens who share the love for the Serbian Armed Forces and the art.

- The results of our work in all activities that we perform, which include information, publishing and exhibiting work, as well as the organisation of events, were considerably increased in 2023. That was certainly confirmed by more than 200,000 pleased visitors who stepped into this edifice to attend a promotion, see and exhibition, listen to a concert, enjoy playing of films on our terrace. That is why, this is the moment when I would like to express my gratitude to all my associates for their selfless zeal; to our predecessors, for sound foundations, to the Public Relations Department for daily support, and the Ministry of Defence for precious understanding - Colonel Pašić said.

At today’s ceremony, recognitions were presented to state institutions, institutions of culture and prominent individuals with whom Media Centre “Odbrana” achieved successful cooperation in the year behind us.

The recognition titled the Associate of the Year of Media Centre “Odbrana” was presented on the occasion of the Day of Media Centre “Odbrana” and 145th anniversary of the military press to the Ministry of Culture. The plaque of the Ministry of Defence was awarded to State Secretary in the Ministry of Culture Miodrag Ivanović who received the plaque from Head of Public Relations Department Brigadier General Mihailo Zogović PhD.
On the occasion of the Day of Media Centre “Odbrana”, traditional recognition for the associate of the year in the field of exhibiting activity went to Director of Memorial collection of Pavle Beljanski, Milana Kvas, who received the plaque from Director of Media Centre “Odbrana” Colonel Pašić.

The plaque for the associate of the year in the field of journalist-information activity was presented to long-term journalist, editor and editor in chief of “Odbrana” and Head of Division in the Public Relations Department Radenko Mutavdžić. Editor in Chief of the Magazine “Odbrana” and Head of Division for Journalist-Information Activity Aleksandar Skakić conferred the plaque.

The most successful associate of Division for Publishing Activity “Military Book” in the previous year was Igor Gojković, the author of the book titled “The Battle of Kajmakčalan”, reporter and journalist, editor of documentary programme of Television “Front”, who received this recognition from Head of Division for Publishing Activity Goran Janjić.
Minister Vučević toured the exhibition titled “Seven Decades of Dedication - Gallery of the Central Military Club 1953-2023” which has been recently set up in the Great Gallery of the Central Military Club in Belgrade to mark 70th anniversary of work.

Today’s celebration was marked by the theatrical exhibition of a film on the results of work achieved over the previous year by the Public Relations Department of the Ministry of Defence and its establishments. The musical part of the programme included the performance of the Mixed Choir and orchestra of the Artistic Ensemble of the Ministry of Defence “Stanislav Binički”.

The Media Centre “Odbrana” marks is Day in memory of 24th January 1879 when the first issue of the military magazine “Ratnik” came out in Serbia, whose tradition is continued by the magazine “Odbrana”.