Croatian Radio Television Editor: HRT Needs Funding for Better Programs!

Total Croatia News


“If everyone paid 96 HRK (12,90 EUR) a month to HRT (Croatian Radio Television), we could perform miracles.” It’s not that ideas are lacking, or that people aren’t creative,” according HRT’s Editor-in-Chief, but HRT is not receiving adequate funding.

HRT, the main public broadcasting service in Croatia, is funded mostly through a compulsory monthly subscription fee of 80 HRK (10,75 EUR).

Program Council Postponing Presidential Election to 2020

On Monday, the HRT Program Council postponed the election of a president until their next session, which is scheduled for January 27. They also discussed Croatian Radio Television’s production program for 2020, without providing a positive appraisal of that program, according to Telegram/HINA on December 16, 2019.

The election for the President of the Program Council was postponed after council members failed to elect a president during the four election rounds at the last session in mid-November. None of the candidates had achieved the required six vote majority.

The program council currently consists of nine members, although eleven are legally mandated. On Monday they also discussed the public service broadcasting program for the upcoming year. However, only five members gave the proposed program a “positive assessment” and included their recommendations in the Program Council’s comments, while three members abstained.

Croatian Radio Television 2020 Program Still Under Review

HRT’s program for next year was presented by the public service broadcasters, who emphasized that the monitoring of Croatia’s EU Council Presidency, the European Capital of Culture in Rijeka, the EURO and the Olympic Games in Tokyo are among most important upcoming projects in 2020.

During the discussion regarding the upcoming planned Croatian Radio Television output and the implementation of contractual programming commitments; the members of the Program Council made several comments, most notably about the informative programs, the procurement and selection of content from external productions and the output of local HRT stations.


Stipe Alfier | HRT

Did Not Report Zagreb Advent Misconduct and Presidents’ Bus Accident

Recently elected HRT Program Council member Stipe Alfier sharply criticized HRT’s public service broadcasting and cited the recent avoidance of major news topics in news programs – including the alleged misconduct of the Zagreb Advent Organization and the failure to report a bus accident during Kolinda Grabar Kitarovic’s presidential campaign.

Katarina Periša Čakarun, the head of HTV’s Information Media Services (IMS) department, dismissed Alfier’s allegations regarding HRT’s avoidance of these topics. Bruno Kovačević, editor-in-chief for all HTV television programs, emphasized that there was room for further improvement in HRT programming in accordance with their obligations, and the agreement between HRT and the Croatian government.

Need to Raise Monthly Fee for Better Programming

“We could produce much better programming. It’s not that ideas are lacking, or that people aren’t creative. Don’t forget that our fee has been 80 HRK (10,75 EUR) a month for the last nine years. It should be 96 HRK (13 EUR). According to our calculations, 96 HRK would amount to 1.5 percent of the average net salary in Croatia (6,418 HRK or 862,11 EUR). We could perform miracles with that 16 HRK difference,” Kovačević declared.

Note that the well-known UK-Based public broadcaster BBC has a similar compulsory monthly fee, which is currently 15,26 EUR and only 4,5 EUR more than the HRT fee. According to recent statistics, the average UK monthly net salary is 2907 EUR, which means that the BBC monthly fee for UK residents is on average only 0.525 percent of their monthly take-home income!

In addition to discussing programming, the HRT Program Council members also created a list of candidates for the Commissioner for HRT Consumers position after a public call for applications. Ten applications have been submitted.

Compulsory Monthly Fee Under Increased Scrutiny

The compulsory monthly HRT subscription fee has recently come under increased scrutiny. Up until 2015, HRT inspectors could enter private homes and businesses to verify that occupants owned receivers, which are defined as any device that can receive an HRT television or radio broadcast. If the inspector verified that the home owner, resident, tenant or business owner owned a receiver, they were required to pay the HRT monthly subscription fee.

The inspectors also had the authority to assign the compulsory 80 HRK fee, even if no one answered the door for this inspection, which is no longer the case. If certain conditions are met, a resident can submit a written request to be exempted from paying the monthly fee. Those conditions include: not owning a receiver, moving into assisted living or a nursing home and death. All three conditions require written statements and supporting documents. More information and an application can be found here.

According to Luka Filipović/tportal on December 16, 2019 – HRT representatives have confirmed the recent court ruling that an authorized HRT inspector is not allowed to enter a home or apartment unless the occupant provides consent.


Ukinimo HRT Pristojbu | Facebook

Croatian Radio Television Inspectors Can’t Enter Without Consent

“The authorized HRT inspectors do not have a court order to enter a home or apartment. When performing field inspections, they are obliged to furnish their official HRT identification. They can perform an inspection only in the event of a residents’ consent. That inspection involves entering an apartment and making a record of established facts,” Croatian Radio Television explained.

HRT reports payment inspections for a specific area to local police stations and informs them of the authorized HRT inspectors who will be conducting those inspections. “If citizens call the police during the surveillance procedure, the police will not respond because the the inspector’s activities have already been reported to the local police stations,” HRT emphasized.

Citizens Should Contact Police Regarding HRT Inspector Misconduct

A representative for the Croatian police emphasized that citizens are encouraged to request a police intervention by dialing 192 if they believe that their rights have been violated or have been subject to unlawful behavior. “A police report is submitted immediately, and officers will go to the scene to collect relevant information and analyze the event,” a MUP representative explained.

Follow our Lifestyle page for updates on HRT programming and changes to the compulsory monthly fee.


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