Journalists Associations and Croatian Radio Television Trade Accusations

Total Croatia News

According to Croatian Journalists’ Society and the Trade Union of Journalists of Croatia, almost 70 employees have been dismissed or fired by HRT’s new management.

“We want to warn the public and authorities about the worrying situation at the Croatian Radio Television (HRT). In accordance with the statements of the currently ruling parties, which before the elections announced they would clean up the HRT when they came to power, we can confirm that the task has been successfully completed”, said in a statement the Croatian Journalists’ Society (HND) and the Trade Union of Journalists of Croatia (SNH), stressing that in the two-month term of office of the new HRT management “swift executions” have taken place, involving almost 70 managers, editors, journalists, directors, videographers, engineers and lawyers, report and Jutarnji List on May 5, 2016.

The HND and SNH warn that it is not known according to which criteria the vacancies have been filled, condemn the fact that journalists Saša Kosanović and Ivica Štorić have been fired and demand explanation for dismissals of editors Dean Šoša and Edi Škovrlj. They also warn about the censorship in the programme, for example, in the case of ignoring the protest action organized by the Kulturnjaci 2016 initiative and the non-coverage of the event “For Satire Ready”. They also cite examples of broadcasting incorrect news about the death of a famous TV quiz participant Mirko Miočić and demand the protection of presenter Daniela Trbović, who has been exposed to unacceptable attacks and personal insults, which have turned into hate speech.

“We request from the government to create a climate and legal requirements for the HRT to finally become a top professional public service to the benefit of all citizens, and not an executor of orders given by any ruling political party”, said the HND and SNH in the statement.

Reacting to the accusations, the HRT management said in its statement that all the changes in the last two months were undertaken with two objectives: raising the professional standards and the financial stabilization of the public broadcaster. The management also adds that there were not any ‘executions’ since most of the managers and editors have been dismissed at their own request.

“The statement by journalists’ associations contains numerous falsehoods since only the former director general and the programme director were dismissed due to their failure to fulfil legal obligations. The majority of others were dismissed at their own request. Also, there are numerous false claims given when it comes to the programming content. For example, it is not true that the ‘For Satire Ready’ event was not covered, since it was covered in a news program and in late evening news. The protest action by Kulturnjaci 2016 initiative was covered in news, main evening news and late evening news. It is also not true that comments made by the Council of Europe’s Commissioner for Human Rights were not covered, since the information about them was broadcast in early afternoon news.

We remind that the associations have not said anything when, during the previous HRT administration, several long-time shows were cancelled, as well as the Educational and Religious Programming Departments. There was also no reaction when a report on a visit to Poland by President Grabar-Kitarović was not broadcast. Regarding the recent allegations about the of presentation of Vesna Pusić, a candidate for the Secretary General of the United Nations, she was offered to be a guest in the main and late evening news, but she did not accept those invitations.

In addition, one of the measures which HRT leadership is implementing is the reducing the use of freelancers, since some of them were receiving fees which exceeded ministerial salaries, while some of the employees were not able to meet their workload requirements due to their engagement”, said the HRT management in its statement.


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