Serbian President Aleksandar Vucic gestures as he speaks during a joint press conference with Russian Prime Minister Dmitry…
FILE - Serbian President Aleksandar Vucic speaks in Belgrade, Oct. 19, 2019. Reporters Without Borders urged the Serbian government on Nov. 20, 2019, to "publicly condemn" attacks on journalists at regional broadcaster N1.

BELGRADE, SERBIA - A media watchdog group has warned that an independent television in Serbia is facing intimidation and a smear campaign from pro-government media and officials.

Reporters Without Borders on Wednesday urged the Serbian government to "stop supporting and instead publicly condemn" what it described as "repeated, systematic defamatory attacks" against journalists at regional broadcaster N1.

Pauline Ades-Mevel, head of RSF's European Union and Balkans desk, said that "the sole aim of this campaign, which is based on statements and speculation that are discriminatory and offensive, is to intimidate and scare these journalists."

Pro-government media and officials have suggested that President Aleksandar Vucic's health deteriorated recently because of questions posed by an N1 journalist.

Vucic, however, dismissed the speculation after he was released from hospital. He had been admitted with cardiovascular problems.