ZAGREB – Freedom of press under attack?

The Croatian government has submitted a controversial draft for new media legislation media, as it foresees severe penalties for publishing so-called “biased news”. 

Croatian Journalists’ Association has left the working group which was in charge of drafting the bill after the government had rejected all of their proposals for compromise.

The culture ministry in charge of the bill claims that the proposal does not jeopardise editorial freedom of the press while emphasising that the main goal of it is to prohibit content that would endanger constitutional order and national security.

The draft bill’s most controversial part is Article 16 which states that “media outlets ought to be impartial and should incite non-biased coverage of daily political issues”, particularly as non-respect for this provision could lead to platforms having to dish out fines varying from €13,000 to €130,000. Legal experts claim that such a proposal is “clearly unconstitutional”.

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