The Situation of the Media Sector in Croatia

19-02-2010

In the twenty years since independence the development of free media in Croatia, alongside the birth of democracy and introduction of the market economy, has been a huge challenge. During the 1990s state censorship of the media continued to prevail. Since then the state of media freedoms has improved, but serious problems remain. This paper reviews the present state of affairs in the following four areas: (i) legal framework of the media, (ii) their ownership and financial situation, (iii) the freedom of the media and (iv) the role of the media in the fight against organized crime and corruption. While further amendments of media legislation are required to meet EU standards, the media are already showing themselves to be potent forces in the struggle against the wider problem of state corruption and its defective judiciary. The EU accession process is a unique opportunity to achieve decisive progress in these respects.

In the twenty years since independence the development of free media in Croatia, alongside the birth of democracy and introduction of the market economy, has been a huge challenge. During the 1990s state censorship of the media continued to prevail. Since then the state of media freedoms has improved, but serious problems remain. This paper reviews the present state of affairs in the following four areas: (i) legal framework of the media, (ii) their ownership and financial situation, (iii) the freedom of the media and (iv) the role of the media in the fight against organized crime and corruption. While further amendments of media legislation are required to meet EU standards, the media are already showing themselves to be potent forces in the struggle against the wider problem of state corruption and its defective judiciary. The EU accession process is a unique opportunity to achieve decisive progress in these respects.

Vanjski autor

Michael Emerson, Senior Research Fellow - CEPS, and Maja Sostaric, co-author Research Assistant - CEPS