Protest held on the occasion of cancelling HTV’s show “Hrvatska uživo”: Don’t shut off the cameras. Shut down the censors
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Translation: Matea Matić
Today at 9 a.m. the the protest “Javna televizija za sve” (free translation: “Public television for all”) was held, organised by the Croatian Journalists’ Association (HND) due to the cancelling of HTV’s (Croatian television) show “Hrvatska uživo” (free translation: “Croatia live”), which was unexpectedly cancelled without a logical explanation after 13 years of airing, even though it was planned to be in the autumn sheme of HTV.

At the protest, which gathered about 150 people, there were banners with captions – from “Hrvatska uživo je spas za građanski glas” (free translation: “Croatia live is salvation for the citizen’s voice”), “Ne gasi kamere. Gasi cenzore” (free translation: “Don’t shut off the cameras.  Shut down the censors”) to “Bože čuvaj Hrvatsku uživo” (free translation: “God keep Hrvatska uživo safe”).

With this protest HND warned that “its urgently necessary to establish satisfactory professional standards at the public television”. They also sent a letter to the MPs of the Croatian Parliament in which they emphasised that they demand the return of “Hrvatska uživo” to the programme and a public television for all.

Krešo Beljak, Anka Mrak-Taritaš, Mijat Stanić, Željko Stipić, Vili Matula, Ivica Buljan, Ćiro Blažević, Goran Aleksić, Ivica Puljak, Boris Jokić and many other journalists and activists joined the protest.

Beljak stressed that a certain ideology is trying to be imposed on the public broadcasting service.

I hope that this protest and all future protests will be fruitful and that the television we are all being forced to pay for will be a true reflection of the opinion of all Croatian citizens and that politicians won’t meddle in the work of HTV – said Beljak.

On the other hand, MP Željko Glasnović didn’t like the protest at all; in regards to the protesters he said that they hate Croatia.

Who is leading our country? Former members of UDBA (State Security Administration), communists and those (pointing to the protesters) who hate the Croatian country, who never wanted it. Deal with facts, not “he said/she said”. Where’t the media lustration? – The only country that hasn’t conducted a lustration is Croatia and post-communist Slovenia, and what is ruling here is former UDBA and the Communist party. Croatia’s problem is the mental heritage of communism – said Glasnović.

Glasnović added that Radman is former member of SKOJ (League of Communist Youth of Yugoslavia), a member of the Communist party and that it is a disgrace he worked at the Croatian Radio Television.

On the occasion of the held protest, a reaction came from the Croatian Radio Television (HRT); they dismissed the pressures put on their programme and editorial policy, regardless of where such pressures are coming from, and they emphasised that “free expression of opinion and views is the right of every citizen, but also that the programme and editorial autonomy is the basis of every free media outlet”.

“The programme leadership made the decision of stopping the broadcasting of the show “Hrvatska uživo”, deeming that political content prevails during prime-time slots and also based on data about the show’s drop in ratings in the period from the year 2007 to 2017.

Namely, as opposed to the ratings (viewership) of some other shows in the afternoon time slot, the ratings of “Hrvatska uživo” in that period was steadlily dropping, which confirms that the viewers have had enough of such content in that period of the day.

The Croatian Radio Television will, in accordance with its public tasks and provisions of the contract with the Government of the Republic of Croatia, continue to cover all social and humanitarian topics, topics related to the civil society and all vulnerable social groups in a few different time slots during every day on the First programme of the Croatian Television (HRT – HTV 1) and on the rest of the television programmes. From Monday 18 September 2017 in the time slot of the show “Hrvatska uživo” a new variety show will be offered to the viewers that will cover topics regarding pop culture, music, architecture, design, gastronomy and lifestyle” – HRT stated in a statement.

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