Politika is the country’s oldest daily broadsheet newspaper, with a reputation for serious journalism. It was founded in 1904 by the journalist Vladislav Ribnikar. The newspaper’s audience is mostly comprised of the older generation, middle class and highly educated people. In 1997 Politika became a joint-stock company and effectively became state-owned and controlled. During 1990s Politika was under the firm control of then president Slobodan Milosevic and his authoritarian regime.
In 2001, the WAZ media group from Germany bought 50% of Politika shares and a new company - ‘Politika novine i magazini’ – was registered. The remaining 50% of shares still belong to various state entities. In 2012 WAZ sold its shares in Politika to a little-known Russian company called East Media Group. The company was founded just a couple of months before closing a multi-million-dollar deal for the acquisition of Politika which provoked speculation and rumours about the identity of the real owner. The transaction was widely covered in Serbian and German media. Subsequently, it became clear that Miroslav Bogicevic, a controversial Serbian businessman with close ties to Democratic Party, was behind the Russian company, which, according to his own public statement, he bought as a favour to, and upon request by, the former Serbian president, Boris Tadic. Shares in Politika novine i magazine owned by East Media Group have been frozen since 2014 by the Commission for Protection of Competition over the legality of the purchase.
Politika was in the centre of the conflict between the owner of Serbian tabloid Kurir, Aleksandar Rodic, and the government in 2015. Rodic claimed in Cenzolovka that in 2011 he made a deal with WAZ to buy Politika, that he bought Politika’s debts towards WAZ, but that later he was pressured by the Democratic Party-led government to withdraw and sell them to Bogicevic. Rodic explained that he was never paid the full amount agreed with Bogicevic. Furthermore, media reported that Bogicevic did not pay the final instalment to WAZ for the purchase of Politika.
To date, the state effectively controls the newspaper - even though there should be two directors, representing each shareholder company, only one director, representing the state-held shares in the company, has been appointed and is in charge.
mixed (private and state)
paid content (40 RSD)
Media Companies / Groups
East Media Group
Politika novine i magazini
Politika is published by Politika novine i magazini whose owners are a state company - Politika AD - and a Russian company - OOO East Media Group. Ownership of East Media Group is associated with Miroslav Bogicevic.
Group / Individual Owner
Republic of Serbia
Politika AD, a state company owns 50% of shares in Politika.
Affiliated Interests Founder
Vladislav Ribnikar – a Serbian journalist who died in the First World War in 1914. After that, the newspaper was in the hands of the Ribnikar family until the Second World War.
Mira Glisic Simic
Affiliated Interests Ceo
In 2008 Mira Glisic Simic’s candidacy for director was proposed by the board of directors of Politika AD, the state owned company that holds 50% of shares in Politika novine i magazini. Consequently she was appointed by shareholders’ assembly of Politika novine i magazini as a director of Politika novine i magazini, i.e. CEO of Politika. Before that she worked for Zepter International - Serbia.
Affiliated Interests Editor-In-Chief
In 2016 Zarko Rakic was appointed Editor-in-Chief after Ljiljana Smajlovic resigned from that post because, according to her media statements, the management of Politika was preventing her from independently managing the newspaper. Rakic came into the media spotlight after Politika refused to extend its contract with Dusan Petricic, one of the caricaturists, whose caricatures frequently mocked Aleksandar Vucic, then Prime Minister of Serbia. Vucic's cabinet issued a statement in which they stated that Politika should continue working with Petricic, after which Rakic said that they would continue publishing Petricic's caricatures. However, this did not happen.
Trg Politike 1, 11000 Belgrade, Serbia
Tel: +381 11 330-1682
Revenue (in Mill. $)
Operating Profit (in Mill. $)
Advertising (in % of total funding)
The ownership structure of Politika is complex and remains unresolved. Non-trasparent transactions between Bogicevic, WAZ and Aleksandar Rodic related to the purchase of the 50% of shares of Politika were widely covered in the media but with little detail and plenty of speculation. To date, it is not clear who presently holds the 50% of shares in Politika.