Thursday, 3 March 2022

Croatian Journalists' Copyright Protection Association Joins IFRRO

ZAGREB, 3 March 2022 - The Croatian Association for the Protection of Journalists' Copyright (DZNAP) has been admitted as a member of the International Federation of Reproduction Rights Organisations (IFRRO), an umbrella organization for the collective protection of the copyrights of authors and publishers across the world. 

With the admission of DZNAP, IFFRO now has 159 members from 85 countries, bringing together millions of authors, visual artists, musicians, and publishers.

"After writers and book publishers, we are the third association from Croatia to join IFRRO. We will not just use the benefits of membership but will also make our contribution by sharing the know-how with those less experienced than us in the collective protection of authors' copyrights and their monetization," DZNAP president Valentina Wiesner said.

IFRRO is an independent non-profit membership association facilitating the collective management of reproduction and other rights in text and image works through the cooperation of its member reproduction rights organizations. Its members collect about a billion euros from copyright fees annually.

For more, check out our politics section.

Friday, 16 April 2021

The Croatian Journalists' Association (HND): "At Least 924 Law Actions Against Reporters and Media Outlets Currently Active"

ZAGREB, 16 April, 2021 - The Croatian Journalists' Association (HND) on Friday presented the results of its latest survey showing that there are currently at least 924 lawsuits against the media and reporters in Croatia with plaintiffs seeking HRK 78.5 million in damages.

The real number of lawsuits may be even greater because the data collected refers to only 23 media outlets, HND president Hrvoje Zovko said at a news conference in Zagreb.

The HND says on its website that "same as last year, Hanza Media has the highest number of lawsuits, 479 of them, with the average indemnity demands of 13,333 euro per lawsuit. Styria follows them with 203 lawsuits – the amounts of indemnity requests made to them result to almost € 2.7 million. In active litigation, the amount of claims ranges from several thousand kunas to even more than one million kunas, while the longest active litigation is currently in its 12th year." 

The HND will continue to warn the local and international public about that problem, said Zovko and called on all reporters for solidarity in the fight against that kind of intimidation.

HND secretary-general Ema Tarabochia reported that in February last year there were 905 law actions against media outlets and journalists . Even though this year's number is insignificantly higher, it is particularly concerning that such a number of active cases exists in any case, she said.

"Out of the total number of 924 lawsuits, 892 refer to civil actions against publishers, their editors and journalists, for compensation of damages due to violations of honor and reputation based on published texts and articles, while the remaining number of 32 lawsuits refers to currently active criminal proceedings. Among prosecutors, apart from natural persons unknown to the general public, the most prominent are persons from public and political life, followed by legal entities, politicians in power, even judges themselves," says the HND on its website.

Three active disputes against HND

The HRT national broadcaster has a lawsuit against Zovko seeking compensation of HRK 250,000 and HRK 200,000 from HND. In that same legal action HRT is seeking HRK 50,000 in damages from HTV reporters Sanja Mikleušević Pavić.

As HND said, this is a unique case where a public media service is suing one of its own employees but also a reporters' professional association.

Government should conduct education to prevent lawsuits occurring

Laywer and member of the European Commission expert group for SLAPP suits, Vanja Jurić said today that the government should conduct education for politicians, lawyers and judges in preventing lawsuits against reporters and the media and to have them realise that they need to be prepared to accept criticism.

She in particular warned of the danger of the Strategic lawsuit against public participation (SLAPP).

For more about politics in Croatia, follow TCN's dedicated page.

 

Friday, 26 March 2021

A1 Croatia: "No Deal Reached With United Media Group on N1 Channel"

ZAGREB, 26 March, 2021 - The A1 Hrvatska telecommunications company said on Friday that no agreement had been reached with the United Media Group on the distribution of the N1 TV channel, and that as of 29 March the channel would no longer be available on their TV platform.

The company said it was ready to pay a much higher distribution price than justified for a longer period, but the United Media Group had set an additional condition and asked for a six-month contract only, despite the fact that the contract had usually been a three-year one.

"A1 Hrvatska cannot accept a six-month agreement because that means avoiding a real solution for us and our customers. Such a condition is manipulation ... which United Media Group uses for its negotiations with other operators which it is currently conducting, and it is using this situation to put pressure on state institutions in order to change the legal framework," the telecom said.

It said it is "still open for talks and cooperation with all providers of attractive programme content who are willing to cooperate and whose broadcasting is in the interest of users".

"Even after United Media Group has launched a media campaign trying to manipulate and exert pressure on us by calling commercial business negotiations media censorship, we were willing to continue negotiating until the last moment in good faith and in the best interest of our customers, seeking only a reasonable and viable offer for the distribution of the N1 channel," A1 said.

It added that despite the statements by the programme director that they were prepared to offer to distribute the N1 channel free of charge, that option had never officially been offered during the negotiations.

It has been recently announced that A1 cable provider will drop N1 television and Sport Klub channels from its programming package. The decision to replace some of the channels in their offer, including N1, was made solely due to unfavourable business conditions, the operator said.

In mid-March the United Media replied that "A1 didn’t have a single reason to make the decision they made and drop N1 and Sport Klub."

For more about business in Croatia, follow TCN's dedicated page.

Wednesday, 17 March 2021

Electronic Media Act Will be Liberalised, Says Minister Nina Obuljen Koržinek

ZAGREB, 17 March, 2021 - Culture and Media Minister Nina Obuljen Koržinek said on Wednesday the Electronic Media Act would be liberalised and that one of the options was allowing the vertical concentration of the media in Croatia.

"We will liberalise that law in the part concerning the regulation of concentration. However, in that case we are considering certain other instruments which generate or ensure media pluralism. I mean the 'must offer' or 'must carry' concepts, but an agreement is yet to be reached on this," she told the press.

The news and programming director of the N1 commercial TV, Tihomir Ladišić, yesterday accused the government of leading to a market monopoly of the two telecoms, A1 and HT, by failing to amend the Electronic Media Act.

His comment came after news that A1 decided to remove N1 from its offer and that it was certain that HT would follow suit.

Asked if the government would allow vertical media concentration, enabling a media publisher to also be a media content operator, which is banned under the current Electronic Media Act, the minister said that was one of the options, adding that the law explicitly banned an operator from also being a media content publisher.

Other media pluralism mechanisms will be introduced

"We are one of the last EU states to have that explicit ban. If we go towards lifting the ban, then some other mechanisms ensuring media pluralism will be introduced," she said.

These mechanisms will enable a company that is both publisher and operator to offer the channel for which it obtained a concession to itself as an operator and to someone else under the same terms.

The minister said such vertical concentration was "what the public can rightfully be afraid of."

She reiterated that A1's decision to remove United Media Group's channels, including N1, from its offer, was strictly a business matter between the two companies, not a matter of legislative regulation.

The minister has a number of times dismissed the argument that the Electronic Media Act did not allow N1 to broadcast on its own platform, saying the law regulates only publishers which have a concession and are established in Croatia.

"N1 is a pay channel which is not established in Croatia and does not have a concession," the minister said.

She would not say what it meant for media democracy in Croatia that N1 was being phased out because two operators decided to remove it from their offers.

"Two days ago I said I believe it's in the public interest that all channels which interest the Croatian public should be available on all operators and I stand by that."

Following news that A1 was cancelling its contract with N1, MPs today called for regulating the telecommunications and media market and resolving contentious issues as soon and as precisely as possible with a new electronic media law.

For more about politics in Croatia, follow TCN's dedicated page.

Wednesday, 10 March 2021

Ministry of Culture and Media: "We Condemn All Violence, Clearer Procedures Needed"

ZAGREB, 10 March, 2021 - The Ministry of Culture and Media said, commenting of the dismissal of HRT reporter Hrvoje Zovko, that it condemned all forms of violence and abuse and advocated clearer procedures and equal treatment in all cases of suspected violence, adding that everyone must have the right to present a defence.

"The Ministry of Culture and Media condems all forms of violence and abuse. We think that every accusation must be investigated and sanctioned should it be substantiated in accordance with legal regulations. We advocate clearer procedures and equal treatment in all cases of suspected violence in the case at the HRT and in all other institutions," the Ministry said on Tuesday in response to HINA's query about the dismissal of Hrvoje Zovko, an employee of the HRT national broadcaster and the president of the Croatian Journalists' Association (HND).

At the same time, respecting the presumption of innocence, we stress that everyone must have an equal right to express and present their defence, the Ministry added.

They noted that they had been informed about the details of the procedure in the case of Hrvoje Zovko's dismissal from the media and once again underscore "the importance of equal treatment of all employees".

For more about politics in Croatia, follow TCN's dedicated page.

Saturday, 19 December 2020

Croatian Journalists' Association Awarded Best Journalists of 2019

December 19, 2020 – By the decision of the Croatian Journalists' Association's members, the journalist of the year for 2019 is Đurđica Klancir of the net.hr portal. The Otokar Keršovani Lifetime Achievement Award was posthumously awarded to Mladen Kušec, the Croatian Radio and Television journalist and editor.

As the Croatian Journalists' Association reports, on their 110th birthday, journalistic awards were given for the best works published in 2019. The awards were presented in nine categories, and eight journalists were awarded.

With 194 votes, journalist Đurđica Klancir from the net.hr portal was named a journalist of the year for 2019.

"In my thirty years of journalism, I went through a lot from a novice journalist to the editor-in-chief in several newsrooms. I have been fired several times for advocating for true journalism. I must say that sometimes it is difficult to find an editorial office that would accept journalists with a firm, clear, and honest attitude. Therefore, I thank my editorial staff net.hr and its editor-in-chief who allowed me to start again as an ordinary journalist and to show that knowledge and skills cannot be lost," said Klancir. She added that we should be brave and not become shadows but fair and honest journalists.

Andrej Dimitrijevic from Telegram, who received 162 votes, and 24sata journalist Ivan Pandzic with 133 votes, were also nominated. In total, 118 journalists competed, while 506 journalists voted, and 27 ballots were invalid.

The Otokar Keršovani Lifetime Achievement Award was posthumously awarded to Mladen Kušec, journalist and editor from HRT, who died last month. His son Goran received his award. Mladen Kušec was an exceptional individual who, in his journalistic career of more than half a century, has almost imperceptibly preserved all the features of "eternal" journalism – one that is curious, that notices, that researches, deepen,s and refines.

Croatian Journalists' Association awarded more Croatian journalists:

Marija Jurić Zagorka Award for Written Journalism – Goran Gerovac, editor and columnist at Večernji list

Marija Jurić Zagorka Award for Radio Journalism – Mirjana Radulović, journalist at non-profit radio community Radio Rojc, Pula

Marija Jurić Zagorka Award for Television Journalism – Silvana Menđušić, RTL Television

Award for cinematography Žarko Kaić – Zoran Marinović, cameraman and reporter of Nova TV

Marija Jurić Zagorka Award for Internet Journalism and Jasna Babić Award for Investigative Journalism – Andrej Dimitrijević, journalist at Telegram

To read more news from Croatia, follow TCN's dedicated page.

Saturday, 26 September 2020

Journalists' Union: Employers Using the Pandemic as an Excuse to Reduce the Rights

ZAGREB, Sept 26, 2020 - Employers in the media sector are using the pandemic as an excuse to reduce the rights of journalists and media workers, it was said on Saturday at a meeting of the Journalists' Union of Croatia (SNH).

Such conditions emphasize the need for union action, said SNH head, Maja Sever.

According to her, employers have lately been shifting coronavirus-related business difficulties to employees, whose salaries have not improved despite savings made by working from home.

She said that the situation in the local media was "catastrophic", which was especially felt by freelance journalists and contract workers.

Sever said that the main task of the trade union was to ensure the signing of collective agreements that protected the interests of workers in addition to the Labour Act and to make a branch collective agreement at the national level, which the union had been trying to do for years without success.

She said that the SNH would advocate changes to the "outdated media legislation" which "does not recognize modern models of work at all."

Some of the problems mentioned at the meeting include wage cuts disproportionate to the drop in revenue, reporters not receiving compensation for commuting expenses despite going on assignments, and no financial compensation for job expenses incurred by working at home.

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Saturday, 12 September 2020

Journalism Proves to be of Exceptional Importance in COVID-19 Crisis, Hears Panel

ZAGREB, September 12, 2020 - Journalism has proven to be of exceptional importance in the coronavirus epidemic and it has shown the importance of timely and accurate information, it was said at a round table discussion, held as part of the 6th PRESS Film Festival in Zagreb on Friday.

"Journalism has proven to be of exceptional importance in the current crisis, it has shown the importance of timely and accurate information given that we are being bombarded on a daily basis with numerous conspiracy theories," Croatian Journalists Association (HND) president Hrvoje Zovko said.

Speaking at the panel, dedicated to media in global crises, journalist Hrvoje Simicevic expressed confidence that media worldwide would not have it easy in the financial crisis caused by the coronavirus pandemic, which, he said, had sped up the decline of a large part of the traditional media sector.

 

Freelance reporters most affected group

Quoting the findings of a survey, Simicevic said that 80% of freelance reporters had been left without key income following the introduction of restrictions designed to fight the coronavirus.

Journalist Kresimir Zupcic said the survey, conducted by the HND and the Journalists Union, showed that 28.7% of external contractors in the media sector had been left without all of their assignments since the start of the crisis, 26.2% had lost most of their jobs and 15.9% had lost half of their previous jobs.

That means that around two-thirds of freelancers had been left without any, most or half of their jobs since the start of the COVID-19 crisis. It is alarming that one in three freelancers have been left without any income and only 14% have managed to keep most of their previous assignments, said Zupcic.

The PRESS Film Festival, which is usually held in Hrvatska Kostajnica, is organised by the HND and the EKS nongovernmental organisation. The festival, which lasts until September 13, is taking place at the HND offices in Zagreb.

The festival selector is film director Daniel Pavlic.

 

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Saturday, 20 April 2019

"Golden Pen" Awarded to Foreign Journalists in 2018

The Croatian Tourist Board organised the award ceremony for the Golden Pen award, given to the international journalists and bloggers for the best media pieces about Croatia as a tourist destination, published in the last year. The most prestigious of the awards are the Grand Prix, given in three categories: for best print media story (magazines, newspapers), for the best broadcast story (TC, radio) and for the best blog post (blogs, social networks).

Tourist Board of Zadar County and the town of Zadar hosted the awards ceremony this year, which was attended by 24 journalists and other professionals coming from 16 different countries. The awards ceremony was held in Petrčani in Zadar and the journalists and bloggers that attended got to visit Zadar, Starigrad Paklenica, Ugljan Island and Kali, Nin and other interesting locations during their three-day organized stay. The winners of the Golden Pen awards were given the unique sculpture, crafted especially for this occasion by the Museum of Antique Glass from Zadar.

The nominations for the material created in 2018 arrived from Great Britain, the Netherlands, Russia, Italy, USA, Germany, Austria, Belgium, Czechia, France, Hungary, Ukraine, Sweden, Denmark, Spain and Slovenia.

The winner of the best print-media story is David Farley from the USA for his story on Dubrovnik, published in the National Geographic Traveler magazine, titled "Sun Sea Savor" (a version of the article is available online).

The best broadcast story by the electronic media was awarded to Vasily Andreev from Russia, who produced a story titled "Advent in Zagreb" for Russian TV- Rossiya 1 national TV channel.

The best blog post award was given to Chiara Marchi from Italy, for her Cherso le 7 cose da sapere post (in Italian, obviously) about the beauty of the island of Cres - given in 7 reasons why you should visit Cres.

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