Croatia: Unions raise the alarm about the COVID-19 impact on journalism

The Trade Union of Croatian Journalists (TUCJ) and the Croatian Journalists Association (CJA) urged the government “to save journalism” by taking financial compensation measures for the media sector. If nothing is done, mass layoffs will occur and several media will shutdown, the union warned. The International and European Federation of Journalists (EFJ) joined their affiliate in urgently requesting a media recovery plan.

Credit: TUCJ/CJA

The government didn’t include the media sector in its financial relief packages to relief the economic impact on companies and workers caused by the pandemic and the earthquake.

“Job losses and pay cuts have already begun. They could eventually lead to a decline in professional media coverage, and in a year’s time Croatia could have a media problem that will be recognized at EU level, such as media systems across the Balkans today. Unfortunately, even the third “package” of Government measures did not cover journalists and the media as a whole; journalism is completely ignored,” denounced MajaSever and Hrvoje Zovko, President of TUCJ and CJA.

TUCJ and CJA proposed a series of measures to be taken as soon as possible, including:

  1. Financial relief for media companies providing that no layoffs or salaries cut will occur
  2. Increase in public funding through a Journalism Crisis Fund
  3. Financial compensation for journalists and freelancers
  4. Tax breaks for citizens who donate or subscribe to media registered in Croatia
  5. Support media cooperatives to reduce long-term dependence of the media sector on state aid and market volatility

In order to raise awareness about the importance of journalism, TUCJ and CJA have launched a social network campaign. It features media workers’ photos showing their everyday life at work during the COVID-19 pandemic. Their message is clear: journalists are our ears and eyes while citizens are required to stay home. Journalists throughout Europe are invited to join the campaign using the #StayAtHome hashtag on social media.

For more information, please contact IFJ on +32 2 235 22 16

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