The Board of the European Alliance of News Agencies has sent on Thursday a letter to the Government of Croatia, asking for a meeting in Zagreb to discuss media independence and especially the role of the Croatian News Agency Hina.
The letter signed by EANA President Clive Marshall and Secretary General Erik Nylen reads, “The Board of the European Alliance of News Agencies (EANA) finds the ongoing discussion about media policy in Croatia alarming! We take it that the Croatian government agrees with the EANA Board that independent news media is a vital part of a democratic society. This includes the role of news agency Hina that since many years is a respected member of EANA which comprises news agencies in 32 European countries and serves as a forum for cooperation and information for the news agency business.”
“The ENA Board is hereby asking the Croatian government for a meeting in Zagreb as soon as possible to discuss how we together can safeguard independent news media in Croatia. (…) It is of the utmost importance that the Croatian Government is safeguarding the editorial, managerial and economic independence of Hina that successfully has completed a restructuring reducing the number of noneditorial employees. Unbiased news play even more essential role for democracy in these days of dramatic political and economic changes, discussions about European cooperation and migration etc. The news agency business constitutes the very core of news gathering and distribution and has to be seen as a backbone of true, independent and unbiased news reporting in any democracy. It is a business that needs a healthy environment abounding in freedom of the press, fair competition and simple and basic rules to operate.”
“News agencies working in accordance with the principles of press freedom and unbiased news are of major importance to the operation of a democratic society. To secure an economic and legal environment for news agencies operating in accordance with these rules is therefore one of EANA’s main concerns. The increasingly
rapid development of information technology enables more and more platforms where there is a direct or indirect need for independent, reliable news coverage.
The EANA Board looks forward to the discussion about Croatian media policy in general and especially about Hina’s role as an independent news agency that both media in Croatia and abroad can rely on to be informed about developments in the country.” More…