ZAGREB, July 24, 2020 – The Croatian journalists’ association (HND) and union (SNH) sent an open letter to Prime Minister Andrej Plenkovic and Culture and Media Minister Nina Obuljen Korzinek on Friday, reminding them of unsolved problems and asking for a media strategy, new media laws, and journalism funds.
Four years ago, you announced a quality media strategy, a media legislation reform and support for quality journalism and free and professional journalists and media. New laws on the media and the public broadcaster have not been passed, while the copyright law was criticised in public consultation by almost all relevant professional organisations,the HND and SNH say in the letter.
They recall that last year they were forced to protest in the streets against the huge number of lawsuits against journalists and media, political and advertisers’ pressure, threats against journalists, the undermining of professional rights and standards, the breach of media laws and lack of a serious media policy.
Today the situation is even worse, as the coronavirus crisis has further deepened the economic difficulties in the media sector and shown how unprotected media staff are, the letter said, adding that in several years before this crisis 50% of media staff were laid off.
The HND and SNH also ask for stronger social dialogue, stopping strategic lawsuits against public participation, including the HND and SNH in decision making and that their remarks on the electronic media bill be accepted.
We hope that in this term you will improve media legislation to ensure media independence and conditions for free and professional journalism. If journalists live in poverty, corruption or fear, there is no freedom of the press or democracy, the letter said.