Siniša Kovačić threatens to dismiss Sanja Mikleušević Pavić and Mirna Zidarić and prepares HRT Ethical Codex changes to replace current members of Ethical Council

Source/Author: [:hr]HND[:]
Source/Photo: [:hr]HRT[:]


CJA strongly condemns decision of acting HRT general manager Siniša Kovačić to punish Sanja Mikleušević Pavić, president of CJA Branch at HRT, for „verbal offence“ by pre-dismissal note and start the procedure to dismiss Mirna Zidarić, president of HRT Ethical Council. CJA also condemns decision to make changes in HRT Ethical Codex by the end of September just to have possibility to replace its current members.

HRT Ethical Council at its session September 23, 2016 decided that Sanja Mikleušević Pavić was not guilty of „verbal offence“ – co-signing CJA’s Press Release from September 21, 2016. That PR criticized non-professional behavior of acting HRT management and supported it by documents. The same was confirmed by representatives of the International Mission to Croatia. Among others there were representatives of the European Federation of Journalists (EFJ) and the European Broadcasters Union (EBU), that HRT is member of.

In spite of the Ethical Council opinion HRT acting general manager punished Sanja Mikleušević Pavić due to „serial of non-true and non-approved information“that she allegedly made public by co-signing the CJA’s Press Release that challenged prolongation of term for Siniša Kovačić as acting HRT general manager.

By that move Siniša Kovačić accepted charges against Sanja Mikleušević Pavić accused of violating four articles of HTV Ethical Codex by co-signing CJA’s PR in spite of opposite opinion oft he HRT’s Ethical Council that found she had not violated any of mentioned articles. Siniša Kovačić ignored that finding and punished our colleague by pre-dismissal note.

CJA finds it to be an abuse of official position used for revenge against Sanja Mikleušević Pavić, who is very responsible in leading CJA Branch at HRT. CJA also finds it to be form of pressure on CJA as independent professional organization and threat to HRT journalists who might criticize unprofessional moves of HRT acting management.

Our suspicions are based even on the fact that Siniša Kovačić started procedure for dismissal of Mirna Zidarić, president of HRT Ethical Council. We find it to put further pressure on the Council.

All that had its climax in urgent public debate on Ethical Codex changes; about the debate most HRT journalists and other employees participating in creating HRT program were not informed but should suffer consequences of these changes. The debate is open until September 29 and at that very day, literary last day of prolonged term for acting general manager, changes might be approved. And that means replacing Ethical Council members (whose term ends in a year) by new ones.

We call for all CJA members at HRT and other employees not to allow that manipulation. We want to repeat that CJA was strongly opposed to new term for Siniša Kovačić at his position of HRT acting general manager. We will inform all relevant international organizations and EU institutions about these latest events on HRT and about long-lasting damage they might cause.

Saša Leković, CJA president