ZAGREB, May 4 (Croatia Sun News) – On the occasion of World Press Freedom Day, marked on May 3, the Croatian Journalists’ Union (SNH) said that Croatian politicians have proved that they “have not learned what the purpose of journalism is and that it primarily serves the public and not them.”
SNH said that several statements to the press made by politicians on Sunday revealed “their miscomprehension,” which proves that the fight for freedom of the press is still very important in Croatia.
For example, Social Democratic Party (SDP) leader Davor Bernardic on Sunday accused the media of not daring ask Prime Minister Andrej Plenkovic questions about the Ustasha salute “For the Homeland Ready” because they were not allowed to.
“The leader of the opposition and self-proclaimed critic of the media’s courage did not know that the media asked the prime minister and others about that on Friday. It took him (Bernardic) two days to comment on President Zoran Milanovic’s departure from the Okucani commemoration because of T-shirts with that salute,” SNH said.
The chairman the Zagreb City Assembly, Drago Prgomet of the Croatian Democratic Union (HDZ), called a press conference and then his office explained that the media would not be allowed to ask any questions while at the same time he sent his greetings for World Press Freedom Day.
Government measures not helping journalism but press owners and publishers
“Journalism has the right to exist, to be stable and to serve the public regardless of whether people in power feel being called out for their deeds,” SNH underscored. That is in fact why reporters warn of corruption because instead of serving the public, people in positions of power exploit public services for their own ends, it added.
“During this crisis, we are witnessing measures that the government has adopted for the media and that they are not helping journalism or the public but the owners of the press and publishers. Hence the battle continues and that means that while fighting for journalism, at the same time we are fighting for the public and journalism itself,” SNH concluded.