“You’re Simply the Best”: Communicating Power and Victimhood in Support of President Aleksandar Vučić in the Serbian Dailies Alo! and Informer

Srđan Mladenov JOVANOVIĆ


Since the recent slew of anti-democratic developments on a worldwide scale, from the onset of the xenophobic crisis in Europe to the election of president Donald Trump, scholarly interest in the Western Balkans has waned significantly. Yet new developments have unraveled in Serbia since 2012 and the coming into power of the 1990s warmonger, Aleksandar Vučić. During his now six year reign, the country has fallen into disarray, with the stifling of the freedom of the press, increased poverty, an intense brain drain, and a number of bizarre affairs in which Aleksandar Vučić’s collaborators are often involved. His method of governance has shown to be intrinsically linked to the media, especially dailies that have been, for years, framing him as both being a type of Ubermensch, extremely competent, strong and efficient, while at the same time developing a victimhood narrative, via which he is painted as under constant attack, as well as a victim of numerous attempts on his life. From a methodological standpoint of media content analysis, through the theoretical lenses of discursive deception theory (and other relevant media-related theoretical standpoints), this article analyzes the discourses of the Alo! and the Informer, the two most prominent dailies that support Serbia’s ruler, Aleksandar Vučić, looking into how they communicate power to their readership.

Keywords: Media content analysis; Serbia; Aleksandar Vučić; Informer; Alo!; Power

DOI: 10.24193/jmr.31.2