Journalists Association Appalled by Croatian President’s Instruction

Total Croatia News

ZAGREB, July 18, 2019 – The Croatian Journalists Association (HND) said on Thursday it was appalled by President Kolinda Grabar-Kitarović’s “scandalous statements … unworthy of the office she holds, in which she shamefully instructs journalists how to do their job.”

“The Croatian president’s message to our colleagues, ‘Don’t follow foreign media which work in I don’t know whose interest’, aside from accusing our foreign colleagues in a very ugly way and without any arguments, is trying to discipline journalists in Croatia in a very perfidious way to do their job by blindly believing only one side, representatives of the authorities, and not their colleagues, whom she virtually labelled as enemies of Croatia,” the HND said in a press release.

Journalists asked the president to comment on the criticisms in many world media of her admission in a Swiss TV interview that Croatian police use violent pushback in dealing with migrants, the HND said, adding that after negative reactions at home and abroad, the president accused the Swiss TV.

“The president ended her statement with an instruction to journalists: ‘As Croatian media you must present the Croatian side of the story. Don’t follow foreign media which work in who knows whose interest.’ This reminds us of the 1990s when some journalists, apologists of the then authorities, publicly said: ‘If necessary, I will lie for Croatia,” the HND said.

Journalists’ job is not to work in the interest of any policy but in public interest, it added.

The president also recently criticised media outlets for misinterpreting her statements.

“I strongly reject an attempt to misinterpret my statements regarding the protection of Croatian borders against illegal migrations. I would like to point out that the Croatian police protects the Croatian and EU border in a legal, professional and humane manner in order to prevent illegal migrations, while applying force to the least possible extent towards law offenders when it is necessary to protect the security of police officers and to ensure the performance of their duties. Maintaining security is the fundamental condition for the stability and development of Croatia and is thus one of my key duties,” she was quoted as saying regarding the protection of Croatian borders against illegal migrations:

“Those are the facts, no word play, incorrect translations or parts of statements taken out of context can or will ever change this,” Grabar-Kitarović said.

More news about journalism in Croatia can be found in the Politics section.


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