International Media Freedom Mission to Visit Zagreb This Week

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ZAGREB, March 4, 2019 – A mission of the South-East Europe Media Organisation, the European Federation of Journalists, the European Broadcasting Union and the Balkans and Caucasus Observatory is visiting Croatia on March 6 and 7 to get additional information on the worrying media freedom situation, the Croatian Journalists Association (HND) announced on Monday.

It will be the mission’s third visit in less than three years. The first visit took place in June 2016 and the second in January 2018, when the mission found that the situation at the public broadcaster HRT, increased hate speech and an incomplete media policy were the biggest problems facing the Croatian media.

In June last year, the mission published a report entitled “Croatia: hate speech on the rise but hope for change”, with recommendations for improving the situation.

The mission’s work is backed by a large number of international organisations which have announced that they will support its findings and recommendations.

In a separate development, addressing a conference organised by the Večernji List daily on the topic “The Croatia We Need – Two Years Later” in Zagreb on Monday, Parliament Speaker Gordan Jandroković said that synergy of actions of all public stakeholders was necessary for the future of Croatia, and called on reporters to give more space in their reporting to lawmakers who seriously take their duty than to exhibition-prone MPs, and in that way media can contribute to efforts to make the national parliament more serious and responsible.

Commenting on the conference, Jandroković said that this event positioned media outlets as co-responsible stakeholders of Croatian society. He went on to say that the parliament should be transformed in the future so as to become more responsible and more serious as well as an institution able to address contemporary challenges.

“Instead, we have the parliament as a place for entertainment and show business, a place that simplifies the issues facing the Croatian society. Reporters also take part in making parliament akin to show business,” Jandroković said.

“I am often asked how we can leave this framework in which the parliament is a show business. My answer is that this can happen when media outlets themselves start paying more attention to members of parliament who prepare their speeches tackling the contents and the merits of the matter and when MPs who resort to exhibitionism and if necessary to defamation only to grab the limelight are pushed to the back burner,” said Jandroković.

More news on the media freedom in Croatia can be found in the Politics section.


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