Nebojša Spaić, a leading Serbian journalist and writer, died at the age of 55 on 18 March in Belgrade.
During his distinguished career, Nebojša was, among other things, chief editor of Radio Belgrade 202; director of Medija Centar Belgrade (a SEENPM member organization); editor-in-chief of the weekly NIN; author and editor of the radio program The Age of Reason. He was also a frequent columnist with a number of weeklies and wrote a number of noted books. Spaić was also a co-founder of the PR Agency Kovačić and Spaić.
Boro Kontić, director of Mediacentar Sarajevo, a founding member of SEENPM, knew Nebojša well. “Nebojša was an unusual and very interesting character. A few years after the war, he came to Sarajevo to visit us as a representative of Medija Centar Belgrade. Visitors from Belgrade were still viewed with suspicion in Sarajevo. We went to a cafe for drinks. I introduced Nebojša to the owner, who was a good friend of mine. The owner raised his eyebrows a little, but still brought us drinks. I asked him to sit with us so that I can properly introduce him to Spaja. After only a few minutes, the owner said to me: ‘You know what, I don’t know about you, but Spaja and I are going to paint the town red tonight. And the two of them really went out to party for almost the entire night. That was Spaja. He was a man who brought down barriers and crashed stereotypes with ease. He was accepted as local wherever he went,” said Kontić.
After his beginnings at the magazine Student, Nebojša Spaić began his professional journalism career with Radio Belgrade in 1986.
Spaić served as executive director of NIN until February 2014. Previously he was editor-in-chief of the weekly between 2010 and 2013.
He was chief editor of Radio Belgrade 202 (2001-2003) and was twice the head of Press Center and executive director of the Belgrade Medija Centar (in the early 1990s, and then between 2003 and 2005).
Spaić was also deputy editor-in-chief of the magazine “Evropa” published by the European Movement in Serbia. In 2005, he co-founded the weekly “Reporter”.
He was a co-founder and journalist with the first privately owned political weekly in Serbia, “Opozicija”.
Spaić was a member of the Independent Journalists’ Association of Serbia.