Serbia's embattled independent media have staged a blackout to warn against what they say is Serbian leader Aleksandar Vucic's muzzling of free press by intimidation, threats, and financial pressure.

Dozens of Serbian media outlets and non-government organizations darkened their web pages for several minutes at noon on Thursday, with a white inscription warning: "This is what it looks like when there is no free press!" Some newspapers appeared on newsstands with a black ribbon printed on front pages as part of the action dubbed "STOP media darkness in Serbia."

Protest organizers say the campaign aimed to alert the public "to the fact that the media freedom in our country is dying and that we all must fight to preserve it."