Cilj istraživanja koje je prezentirano u ovom doktorskom radu jest prikazati ulogu srbijanskog tiska u procesu političke mobilizacije srpskog naroda za ideju prema kojoj bi se svi Srbi okupili u jednoj jedinstvenoj državi te njegovu ulogu u procesu stvaranja predkonfliktnog ozračja, koje je posljedično vodilo i pokretanju ratova na području bivše Jugoslavije. Kroz rad se nastoji analizirati i opisati značajke i metode velikosrpske propagande u razdoblju od sredine osamdesetih do početka devedesetih godina 20. stoljeća. Rad se primarno temelji na ekstenzivnim istraživanjima odabranih srbijanskih tiskovina – na dnevnim listovima Politika i Večernje novosti i tjednicima NIN i Vreme od rujna 1986. i objave dijelova Nacrta Memoranduma Srpske akademije nauka i umetnosti do 1991. i početka prvih oružanih sukoba u Republici Hrvatskoj te na relevantnoj politološkoj, psihološkoj i historiografskoj literaturi. Sredinom osamdesetih godina prošloga stoljeća ekonomska situacija u Jugoslaviji se pogoršavala, a odnosi među republikama su postajali sve složenijima. Sve su više dolazile do izražaja suprotnosti između Slovenije i Hrvatske s jedne i Srbije s druge strane. Vrijeme je to u kojem je i represija režima popustila, što je omogućilo da se otvorenije govori i piše o nacionalnim pitanjima i nacionalnim interesima. U Srbiji je prva intelektualna opozicija počela stavljati u fokus nacionalno pitanje i snažno zagovarati srpske interese, a u historiografiji se javlja revizionizam i reevaluacija srpske i zajedničke jugoslavenske prošlosti. U skladu s takvim trendovima dio je akademika načinio Memorandum SANU, koji je nakon što su prvi puta njegovi dijelovi objavljeni naišao na otpor i snažnu kritiku no vremenom su se u tisku stale redom otvarati teme koje su apostrofirali stvaratelji Memoranduma, osobito nakon promjene konstelacije političke moći, odnosno uspona Slobodana Miloševića. Tiskani su se mediji tako u Srbiji stali intenzivnije baviti srpskim nacionalnim pitanjima i pri tom su provodili velikim dijelom nacionalističku propagandu koja se očitovala i u procesu konstruiranja neprijatelja od “drugih“. Potencirale su se teme i postavljale teze kojim se isticala ugroženost i težak položaj srpskog naroda u jugoslavenskoj federaciji, odnosno ugrožavanje njihovih interesa u pokrajinama i drugim republikama, prvenstveno na Kosovu i u Hrvatskoj. Novinska su izdanja u velikoj mjeri podržavala politiku srpskog vodstva te su u znatnoj mjeri pokušavali utjecati na formiranje javnog mijenja, stvarajući ozračje nacionalne netrpeljivosti i potičući srpski nacionalizam, kao i prihvaćanje ideje o stvaranju Velike Srbije, VI što je u konačnici zacijelo moralo pridonijeti i spremnosti dijela srpskog stanovništva da podrži i ratne sukobe ili da se čak u njih aktivno uključi.
The aim of this research was to show the role of the Serbian press in the process of political mobilization of Serb people for the idea for all the Serbs to live in one single state and its role in creating the pre-conflict atmosphere that consequently led to the wars in the former Yugoslavia, i. e. to analyze and describe the grater Serbian propaganda that occurred and developed from the mid-eighties to the beginning of the nineties. The dissertation is based primarily on the extensive research and analysis of the selected Serbian press – daily newspapers Politika and Večernje novosti and weekly newspapers NIN and Vreme in the period from September 1986 till March 1991, i. e. from the discloser of the parts of so-called Memo of the Serbian Academy of Science and Art till the beginning of armed conflicts in Croatia. In the mid-1980s, especially after Slobodan Milošević had risen to power, the media in Serbia began to be intensively concerned about Serbian national issues, and spread largely nationalistic propaganda which found its expression in overstressing the allegedly difficult situation and endangerment of the Serbs and Serbia within the Yugoslav community, i. e. endangerment of the Serb people and their interests in other republics and autonomous regions, especially firstly in Kosovo and later Croatia. Print media were no exception. One of the most widely read and surely the most distinguished daily newspaper, the Politka joined most actively in the implementation of such propaganda, but other publications also showed to a greater or lesser degree, similar editing policies. Print media supported Milošević’s policy for the most part, and, in this way, influenced the formation of public opinion, creating the atmosphere of national intolerance and stirring up the Greater-Serbian nationalism, i. e. inducing people to accept the idea of the creation of a Greater Serbia, which eventually surely contributed to the willingness of a part of the population to join the war conflicts or support them. The major starting point for the development of the Greater Serbian propaganda was the publishing of the parts of the so called Memo of the Serbian Academy of Science and Art in the Večernje novosti daily. The Memo dealt with Serbian national issues in Yugoslav community and aimed to the idea of the rearrangement of the state. Although the Memo was at first strongly disapproved by bought politicians and journalist, pretty soon one by one the themes and thesis from the Memo started to appear in the newspapers, drawing the blueprint of Greater Serbian propaganda. At first, the major propaganda thesis was the allegedly poor position of the Serbians in the Kosovo Autonomous Region, which included building and creating various stereotypes of the Albanians which were the first and most lasting “victims” VIII of Serbian propaganda. At the same time the issues from the WWII, i. e. from the period of so-called Independent State of Croatia started to rise, especially concerning the Serbian victims of Concentration Camp Jasenovac. After the first great Serbian assembly on Kosovo Polje, conformity between Slobodan Milošević and the press was tightened. After Eight Session in the September 1987 Slobodan Milošević had gotten ridden of his political opponents and had gained dominance in the Serbian Communist Party and in the process than called “differentiation” he had concord most of the media space which than had become one of his most important allies in the campaign for the united Serbia in the period of the so-called Anti-bureaucracy Revolution. In that period beside from the Albanians, the Serbian press started propaganda against Slovenians and Croats, but in that time it was primarily aimed against the political leadership of these two republics. Slovenia and Croatia were blamed for the poor state of Serbian economy and for their alleged coalition with Albanians against Serbia. In the first middle of 1989 after new amendments on Serbian constitution were brought and after Serbia practically gained control of its autonomous regions Vojvodina and Kosovo, in the center of the Greater Serbian propaganda came the Kosovo myth which purpose was to rise and to firm national consciousness of Serb people. The second great issue of this period was propaganda against Slovenia which was accused for supporting Albanians and for economic egoism and selfishness. This peak of anti- Slovenian propaganda was also some kind of farewell from this Northern Yugoslav Republic. This was also the time when the question of endangerment of Serbs in Croatia was brought to light. After the 14th Congress of Yugoslav Communist Party, and especially after the democratic changes in Croatia, begins the period of intensive anti-Croatian propaganda which lasted until the beginning of the war conflicts in Croatia in March 1991. In this period press played very important role in the process of construction of enemy and creating pre-war atmosphere that made possible later Greater Serbian aggression on the Republic of Croatia.