EFJ Secretary General: Uncertain working conditions of Croatian journalists are a danger to democracy

The Monitor of Media Pluralism 2020 (MPM2020) has confirmed the growth of cases of harassment of journalists, media houses are facing increasing economic uncertainty, and the online media sphere is failing to strengthen pluralism.

According to the report, Croatia is in the category of medium-risk countries for journalists in terms of standards and protection of the journalistic profession, and it is an alarmingly high-risk country for journalists in terms of working conditions.

In this sub-indicator, Croatia is in the category of the most risky countries, along with Albania, Hungary, Romania and Turkey. The reason for this, according to MPM2020, is the disruption caused by the digital market and the reduced sustainability of media companies.

After the publication of the report, which is alarming for Croatia, Trade Union of Croatian Journalists asked the Secretary General of the European Federation of Journalists, Ricardo Gutiérrez, for a comment.

“The European Federation of Journalists calls on Croatian civil society and the Croatian public authorities to take urgent measures to ensure decent working conditions for journalists. We knew that these conditions were very precarious.

We now have a scientific report that establishes that journalists in Croatia work in similar conditions to their Turkish or Albanian colleagues. This precariousness of media workers is a danger to democracy: by not giving journalists the means to do their job, we are in fact depriving Croatian citizens of access to reliable and verified information”, Gutiérrez stated.

Even before the Covid-19 crisis through strategic lawsuits against journalists (SLAPP), but also through the reluctance of politics and the justice system to understand why journalism is important, each of us thinks twice before writing a sentence of a text, radio or television report because we are a country where journalists are prosecuted and punished when they write the truth.

That is why, together with CJA, we adopted Emergency Measures to Save Journalism, which we presented to the Minister of Culture and media Nina Obuljen Koržinek . We hope to continue the dialogue with the new/old Government. We will also make sure that they read the MPM2020, as well as warning and appeal by the Secretary General of the EFJ.

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