ZAGREB, February 16, 2019 – The editorial board of the Serb minority weekly “Novosti” and the Serb National Council (SNV) as its publisher on Friday held a ceremony to mark the 1000th issue of the weekly that was first published in 1999 and was distributed exclusively within the Serb community during its first ten years, hitting the newsstands across the country in 2009.
Editor-in-chief Nikola Bajto said Novosti was one of the few media outlets in Croatia with a critical approach to the country’s reality and that from its perspective, that reality looked quite different from the official reality, prescribed by politics as well as right-wing circles which over the years frequently exerted pressure on the weekly and its publisher over its critical writing.
“Novosti has been lambasted many times over the topics it wrote about. Once it was over an illustration, another time it was over the satirical poem ‘Our beautiful howitzer’, and after that over the cover page caption ‘Our beautiful homeland burns beautifully’. And in each of those cases we were just telling the truth in different ways – that there were civilian victims in Operation Storm, that that part of the country was looted and burned down, that Croatia keeps silent about it. It keeps silent about it so much that sometimes we have to be a little creative to make some of it heard in public,” said Bajto, thanking all who read Novosti.
SNV president Milorad Pupovac said that he could not agree with the view that minority communities, notably those like Croatian Serbs, and political journalism did not go together. “Minorities should live in an open society and be open to the society they live in. Of all the impossible political missions we have embarked on, this one is among the more successful ones. A minority perspective, investigative journalism, critical journalism, and on top of that, satire. Very often accused as being hostile, Novosti is actually not a satirical paper, what is satirical is the reality it writes about,” said Pupovac.
Croatian Journalists Association (HND) president Hrvoje Zovko, who was among those attending the event, said that Novosti had long stopped being just a minority paper and commended it for its investigative journalism.
Another guest at the event, the head of the Council for Ethnic Minorities, Aleksandar Tolnauer, stressed that the Council would see to it that the weekly continued being published “regardless of the various forms of pressure.”
More news on the Serb minority in Croatia can be found in the Politics section.