ZAGREB, 15.09.2017. – “Croatia live was shelter for many topics proscribed from programs other TVs “, said Saša Leković, Croatian Journalists’ Association (CJA) president. “That show is not the only show that met its misfortune in new HRT autumn schedule”, he added. “Another example is Labirint show, with duration of just 25 minutes according to the new schedule. We are not talking about journalists now, but about endangered groups that had their voice in shows like Croatia live – we invited them here to say something about their problems“, said Leković.
“Croatia live is one of just few shows covering issues of interest of so called ordinary people and showing real life of average Croatian citizen. We find that by elimination of that show public is deprived of its right to be aware of real situation in Croatia“, said Martina Pongrac, member of „Help disabled children“ initiative, adding that HRT, according to its contract with the Croatian Government, has obligation to have on its prime time shows dealing with disabled persons and children once a week.
In spite of the rain there were 200 people at St Marco square – citizens, journalists, activists and disillusioned viewers, some with their children with certain difficulties – to express their support to „the most liked show and to the best journalists“, as they said. “Let’s protect our right to be informed“, „Save Croatia live, oh my God“, “Whoever shuts down HuŽ, does not understand people“, „HuŽ is saving citizens’ voice“, said some banners.
“We are here today to support unconditionally Croatia live crew, just as they have supported us for years when we were fighting many problems of our disabled children, invalid persons and their families“, said representatives from all groups participating the protest.
“Elimination of Croatia live show without any argument is latest in the series of attacks against public right to be informed, guaranteed by the Constitution“, said Marijana Tomić from SSSH (Independent Unions Association).
Protester sent the message they want professional standards at the public RTV service and warned Parliament members just before new autumn sessions that situation at HRT is not viable. Parliament members were given leaflets alarming them about the situation at HRT; elimination of Croatia live show is just one of its consequences.
Protest was organized by CJA with the support of GONG, SSSH, „Help disabled children“ initiative and other associations and activists, as well as several international organizations, led by European Federation of Journalists and SEEMO.
Responding to protesters’ claims HRT rejected pressure on „independent program and editorial policy regardless of its source“. They pointed out that everybody has the right to express his/her opinion, but that editorial policy is right of every free media.
“Our program management decided to stop producing Croatia live show as it was convinced that political content should be focused in the prime time and because there was constant decline in number of viewers of Croatia live show. It was a signal spectators lost their interest in that kind of show“, is said in HRT press release.
Starting Monday, September 18, at the same time HRT will have on new mosaic show dealing with popular culture, music, architecture, design, gastronomy and life style.
Photos from the protest you can find here.
HND, Zagreb, 15/09/2017