Five minutes of roaring silence - Statement and Call for Action from the Sindikat Novinara Hrvatske, Trade Union of Croatian Journalists

World Press Freedom Day 2003

Zagreb, April 28, 2003

TUCJ shop stewards, CJA representatives, Editors-in-chief, IFJ Members

Dear Colleagues,

On the occasion of May 3rd, the World Press Freedom Day, the Trade Union of Croatian Journalists (TUCJ) will mark this Day with its symbolic action FIVE MINUTES OF ROARING SILENCE on Saturday, May 3, 2003 from 11,55 - 12,00 a.m.

TUCJ calls all the journalists and media workers of Croatia to join this 4th TUCJ action, as they did in the previous 3 actions.

We kindly request the TUCJ shop stewards in the media where TUCJ has organized chapels, also chairmen of local branches of the Croatian Journalists' Association (CJA), and editors-in-chief in all the other media, to inform managements in the media companies of the TUCJ action, as announced.

Please find enclosed the TUCJ's Press Release enclosed to this info. TUCJ shall send its Press Release timely to all the media in order to be published or broadcast on May 3rd - the World Press Freedom Day. This year's TUCJ's action Five minutes of roaring silence is the fourth one, and we hope it will become traditional and international, as well.

We kindly request the TUCJ shop stewards to put the enclosed TUCJ Press Release on notice boards in their editorial offices, and to read it during the five minute protest. In editorial offices without organized TUCJ chapel, we kindly ask CJA representatives to do it and to read the Press Release, and in editorial offices without CJA local representative, we kindly request editor- in -chief or a respected journalist to do so.

We plead to all the colleagues to support the action of Five minutes of roaring silence.

How to carry out the action Five minutes of roaring silence on the May 3rd, from 11.55-12.00. a.m.


  • At 11.55 to commence a protest at your working premises, every activity and communication is to cease by 12.00 h.

  • During the protest, the TUCJ chapel shop steward or CJA chairman shall read the TUCJ Press Release on the occasion of the 3rd May, the World Press Freedom Day.


  • Colleagues in radio editorial offices are kindly asked to broadcast the Press Release and to interrupt the program until 12.00 or to play only slow instrumental music.


  • Colleagues in TV broadcasting companies are kindly asked to read the TUCJ Press Release and to interrupt the program until 12.00 h. Press Release should be broadcast on TV screens during the protest, as it was the case last year.


  • All the colleagues who on the 3rd May at 11,55 a.m. happen to find themselves on assignments, especially at sessions of the national government bodies and the bodies of local administration and self-government, at the political parties and other admministrative bodies meetings, etc. are kindly asked to join the protest by standing up in silence or they may even leave the room for five minutes.

  • Five minutes of roaring silence will demonstrate our trade union and professional solidarity and firmness of our intent to fight for our human and professional dignity.

    Journalists and media workers all over Croatia have massively joined the three previous TUCJ's actions. Last year our colleagues from Bosnia and Herzegovina, Macedonia, Serbia and Montenegro joined the action. This year we expect journalists and media workers from all the neighbouring, SEE, CEE and other European countries to join Five minutes of roaring silence.


    Please feed us back either by e-mail, fax or telephone on the course of the action, a response to it and whether you had any problems.

    An urgent feed-back is required and appreciated for timely information delivery to the news agency HINA which covers the action every year by announcing it and releasing results.

    Thank you for your solidarity.

    Marinka Boljkovac-Borkovic

    TUCJ Gen. Secretary


    10000 Zagreb

    Perkovceva 2/I


    Tel/fax. (++385 1) 48 26 104; tel. 48 26 947, 48 28 333

    E-mail: [email protected]


    On occasion of May 3rd 2003 - World Press Freedom Day the Trade Union of Croatian Journalists relases this statement to journalists, media workers, media owners, general public

    Media fredom has been won - battle for freedom of journalists and protection of their basic human rights remains to be fought for. Frequent violations of these rights in Croatia make situation of journalists worrying. In spite of their doing a difficult and responsible job, journalists are too often underestimated, underpayed, exposed to pressure and voluntarism of media owners.

    With this year's action Five minutes of roaring silence, on May 3rd 2003, at 11.55 - 12.00 a.m., the Trade Union of Croatian Journalists warns of indispensability of protection of basic human rights of journalists and media workers, announces the beginining of negotiations, asks support and expects support for:

    • Signing of Collective agreement for jouirnalists and media workers of Croatia which will define minimum of social, labor and professional rights for thousands of journalists and media workers in all kinds of media, national and local alike, withourt any regard to range and ownership structure

    • Protection of freelance collaborators - absolutely deprived grey area media workers - who permanently collaborate in the media for years without pension or health insurance, and without regular and just remuneration for their work

    • Realisation of professional freedom of journalists - by protecting authors from professionally unfounded interventions in their work - in order to enable public to get information without censorship, and to make media owners understand that ownership of the media does not imply ownership of the journalists and of the truth.

    Right to truth belongs to the public. Journalists want to be and have to be objective intermediaries.

    Support our actions - because they serve to you.