Index Editor: If HDZ Want to be Treated Like People, They Should Act Like People

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Updated on: owner Matija Babic with a new profile photo owner Matija Babic with a new profile photo

HDZ has condemned Index’s move and threatened to “take appropriate legal steps” and expects a reaction from both the Croatian authorities and the Croatian Journalists’ Association.

This morning, Minister of Culture and Media Nina Obuljen Korzinek said during the aforementioned N1 programme that she had analysed which article within the law Index had violated, and announced sanctions against the Electronic Media Council, although that body should be independent.

“HDZ party members are people who are voluntarily members of an organisation that is the only one to have been convicted as a party in a Croatian court”

At the beginning, the presenter asked Neven Barkovic: “Do Index’s editors consider HDZ party members to be people?”

“The fact is that these are people who are voluntarily members of an organisation convicted in a Croatian court, the only party convicted of corruption as a party. HDZ members aren’t members out of altruism or idealism, but to take advantage of the use of that party’s card, the way the party leadership has benefited from for years, for which we’ve had many final verdicts,” Barkovic replied.

Could Index be prosecuted under the Electronic Media Act?

”It’s fascinating to me that the minister is announcing some sanctions for Index, through a body that she says is independent in the same sentence. This is an interesting formulation which is typical of HDZ,” Barkovic commented.

“I don’t know on what basis we should react,” Barkovic said of the possibility of the Electronic Media Council reacting to Index’s announcement about HDZ. The minister has referred to the Law on Electronic Media, Article 12, paragraph 2, which says, and I’ll shorten it a bit, that it is forbidden to incite hatred on the basis of religious, ethnicity, or even political beliefs. I just spoke with a lawyer who said that political belief is not the same as holding membership of a political party. That same paragraph of the law says that hatred mustn’t be spread on the basis of trade union membership. Discrimination would mean that HDZ members are being denied something. That isn’t the case. By clicking the option that shows that they are members, they’re taken directly to the part of Index where numerous HDZ scandals are listed and where they can be informed of them, although I don’t know how they could be uninformed about all the scandals this party has partaken in,” Barkovic explained.

“If HDZ wants us to treat them like people, then let them start behaving like people. If HDZ wants us to stop calling them criminals, let them stop dabbling in crime,” he said.

Bakovic added that Index, while SDP was in power, also wrote very openly against SDP, and he also saw SDP ministers dismissed as a result of his own work.

“Among them is Slavko Linic, who is having a great time with HDZ party members today.”

He called HDZ’s thesis that they were endangered a joke.

“Someone who is so privileged, I mean privileged within Croatian society, is the last person who should be complaining that he’s being discriminated against. Such a person has no right to complain. The least a person like that can do is to endure the criticism, no matter how harsh it might be,” he said.

“If Plenkovic wants to consume media that only favours him, then let him watch HTV.”

Barkovic also said that the appropriate position of the media in a democratic society is often misinterpreted as “neutral”, while in fact the correct description of the position of the media in such a society is “objective”.

“Index will put most of its efforts into looking at those who are in power, those who are in a position of power. We think that’s the right approach,” Barkovic concluded.


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