The Croatian Journalists’ Association (HND) strongly condemns the outburst of the Minister of Culture and Media, Nina Obuljen Koržinek, directed at Telegram journalist Dora Kršul. Kršul had investigated and documented irregularities at the Faculty of Geodesy, funded by the European Union without a public tender, through the Ministry of Culture and Media. Employing the “shoot the messenger” method, the minister attempted to discredit Kršul on a personal level, casting doubt on her professional integrity in the public eye when faced with uncomfortable questions about the arrest of the dean of the Faculty of Geodesy and the investigative actions of the European Public Prosecutor’s Office related to the discoveries made by our colleague.
We are talking about an old and proven method of avoiding responsibility by diverting attention from the hot topic and focusing on the journalist as a topic of interest. Unfortunately, this is not an isolated case but a standard communication tactic employed by high-ranking officials when dealing with journalists. We expected a better from the Minister of Media.
Dora Kršul is the president of the Association of Investigative Journalists and a member of the Executive Board of the Croatian Journalists Association. She is among the best journalists of her generation and a multiple recipient of HND’s annual awards, including two for investigative journalism. The Minister of Media should be familiar with the fundamentals of the media department she oversees and aware of her position when attacking journalists instead of addressing the questions raised. HND considers the way top officials belittle journalists to evade public accountability as dangerous and expresses concern because the minister, who one day defends the media and the next day criticizes journalists from a position of power, reveals her stance on the importance of independent and professional journalism in a democratic society.
For the Executive Board of the Croatian Journalists’ Association,
Hrvoje Zovko, President of HND
Chiara Bilić, Vice President of HND
Drago Hedl, Vice President of HND