HND: Ban on Appearance of SNH Leader Proves Censorship at HRT

Total Croatia News

ZAGREB, May 4, 2020 – The Croatian Journalists’ Association (HND) said on Sunday that the decision by the public television broadcaster to ban the leader of the Croatian Journalists’ Union (SNH) from appearing in its popular Sunday talk show was confirmation of censorship at the HRT.

“The Croatian Journalists’ Association strongly condemns the censorship move by the management of Croatian Radio and Television to ban the editor of ‘Nedjeljom u 2′ (Sundays at 2 o’Clock), Aleksandar Stanković, from hosting Maja Sever, an HRT journalist and president of the Croatian Journalists’ Union, on his show on the World Press Freedom Day,” the HND said in a statement,

The guest of Sunday’s show was an independent member of Parliament, Marko Vučetić, who said that he had been invited instead of SNH leader Maja Sever, to which the show’s host Aleksandar Stanković remarked that this was his own professional defeat and the defeat of the HRT.

“The fact that Maja Sever is not the guest on today’s show is my professional defeat and I would also say the defeat of the organisation I work for. She was invited at the president of the Croatian Journalists’ Union who last week discussed with the President of Croatia and the Minister of Culture the problem of freelance journalists in the present time of crisis and how to save them. I wasn’t given the green light to host her. She was also invited as the recent recipient of the Pride of Croatia Award. The explanation was that she works here, with this show, and that it is not possible. I will persist in inviting her to this show because I believe that she should be a guest,” Stankovic said.

The HND said that this showed what the situation was like at the HRT where “freedom of speech has been restricted for a while now.”

“The fact that Sever is also an HRT employee would be an honour to any well-regulated and free system, let alone one that is mostly funded by taxpayers’ money, rather than an excuse for censorship,” the HND said, recalling that Sever’s popular programme “Croatia Live” was taken off the air without any explanation a few years ago.

The HND called on the “free-thinking public and everyone concerned to join us in efforts to free the HRT of the shackles of politics and interest groups so that it becomes an independent public service. The fee-paying citizens are entitled to that.”

The HND said it continued to support the demand made at a large protest rally by journalists last year that the current HRT management should be replaced.

More news about the status of journalists can be found in the Politics section.


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