CJA CONDEMNS SMEAR CAMPAIGN AGAINST NOVOSTI WEEKLY

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Source/Author: CJA
Source/Photo: CJA / Nikola Šolić

The Croatian Journalists’ Association expresses concern over a systematic campaign that has now shifted false and dangerous accusations against the Novosti weekly and the journalists working there to the parliamentary benches. The last two parliamentary sessions have been marked by shameful, dangerous, and unacceptable statements by MPs such as Željko Sačić (Croatian Sovereignists), who accused Novosti of spreading anti-Croatian propaganda and accused Croatian Serbs of inciting terrorism and spreading Chetnik ideology. Sačić was supported by Nikola Grmoja from the Bridge party, claiming that Novosti does not address issues of interest to the Serbian national minority and putting forward the dangerous idea that they should only be allowed to address such issues.

Joining the chorus of dangerous attacks, MP Ružica Vukovac (For a Just Croatia) criticized Novosti, alleging that they publish falsehoods about the Homeland War and World War II, among other things, and asserting that the said weekly spreads intolerance towards the majority Croatian people. During a parliamentary debate last week, the same MP called for proceedings against Novosti’s editor, Andrea Radak, for allegedly inciting intolerance. In a ludicrous accusation, Ružica Vukovac called on the Minister of Internal Affairs to initiate proceedings against Novosti’s editor based on amendments to the misdemeanor law. Responding to such an extremely dangerous accusation, the Speaker of the Croatian Parliament, Gordan Jandroković (HDZ), stated that calling for persecution because of what some newspapers write is unacceptable.

This instigative and dangerous rhetoric by certain MPs mirrors the writings of Hrvatski tjednik, which has long spread hatred towards Novosti and its colleagues, who are prominent Croatian journalists decorated with numerous awards from the Croatian Journalists’ Association. The CJA understands that such a campaign is not accidental, but warns that this rhetoric, which has moved from obscure weeklies to parliamentary benches, is extremely dangerous and amounts to openly targeting our colleagues. Therefore, we ask: who will take responsibility if something happens to journalists and employees at Novosti?

The CJA fully supports colleagues who are the targets of dangerous accusations aimed solely at discrediting and ultimately shutting down this weekly, while at the same time these MPs have no issue with instigative weeklies spreading hatred and historical revisionism.

For the Executive Board of the CJA

Hrvoje Zovko, President