On World Press Freedom Day, Croatian politicians vividly demonstrated why the fight for freedom of journalism in Croatia is so important.
Neither the ruling nor the opposition politicians have learned what journalism is in its core and that it serves primarily to the public, not to them.
A few statements made at press conferences this morning alone reveal all the grandeur of their misunderstanding. ž
Asked by a journalist Nataša Božić in a talk on N1 Television: “Did VP of European Commission Dubravka Šuica put pressure on the Dubrovnik Television when calling in live TV show to criticize a journalist for not defending her?” Culture Minister Nina Koržinek Obuljen (HDZ) replies: “I don’t see how Šuica, who is no longer a local politician, could pressure that TV.”
President of Social Democratic Party Davor Bernardić on World Press Freedom Day has accused the media that they can’t ask Prime Minister Andrej Plenković a question about 2WW usthasa’s regime greeting ZDS because they are told not to ask him that. The opposition leader and self-proclaimed critic of media bravery does not know that the journalists allready asked Mr. Plenković about this on Friday. It took Mr. Bernardić two days to comment on the story of President Zoran Milanović‘s departure from Okučani over T-shirts with ZDS.
Zagreb City Assembly President Drago Prgomet (HDZ) invited reporters to a press conference to be informed by the people from his office that there will be no posibility to ask questions at the press conference. He did congratulate World Press Freedom Day.
So let’s reiterate for those who are still unclear what it means for journalism to serve the public? This means that, like other sectors in the domain of the state, journalism has the right to exist, to be stable, to serve the public regardless of whether persons in a position of power are called out for their actions. That is why we warn of their corruption, because instead of for society, they use public services to benefit themselves, to our collective detriment.
The public interest, journalism and all the values that we constantly talk about are the basic prerequisites for the existence of journalism: to inform the public, accurately, in a timely manner, factually – without false news – about the plans, motives, intentions and decisions of persons in office, not because of them personally, as such they are irrelevant, but for the public good.
To know exactly what your representatives in parliamentary democracy stand for, to know exactly what they are doing on your behalf. In this crisis, we also witness that the measures adopted by the Government of the Republic of Croatia for the media do not help journalism, or the public, but the owners and publishers.
Therefore, when we say that the fight goes on, it means that by fighting for journalists, we are fighting for the public and journalism at the same time.
Dear colleagues, the struggle continues. Happy World Press Freedom Day.