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Controlled Media More Trustworthy Than the Free: The Media Absurdities of a Totalitarian, Autocratic and Democratic Croatia

Željko Krušelj ; Sveučilište Sjever, Sveučilišni centar Koprivnica

Puni tekst: hrvatski pdf 260 Kb

str. 524-539

preuzimanja: 604



During the totalitarian communist period it was clear against whom the journalists were fighting the battle for freedom of the press. On one side were those who wanted to objectively, without the usual ideological embellishment, write about all social processes, and on the other were the rigid and self-sufficient political structures. As the crisis in Yugoslavia deepened, one-party discipline softened, which simultaneously led to the growth of independence of the media. It was an unstoppable process. It is undisputed that the general public in the late years of the Yugoslav federation trusted the journalists more than its political officials. It was “the golden age” of Croatian newspapers, accompanied by the high print runs. The electronic media ratings were also rising, although they experienced a slower process of breaking free from the political embrace.
However, the independent Croatia, partly due to the war, experienced a kind of a step back when it came to freedom of the media. Tudjman’s authoritarianism resulted with a strengthening pressure on the state-owned media, and simultaneously liberalization of the market led to a proliferation of sensational and aggressive “yellow” journalism, which was no stranger to breaking all ethical norms. There was a strong clash between the right and left media radicalism, and the dissolution of the press company Vjesnik meant an end for some of the key political news magazines, as well as all youth magazines. Consequently, journalists and their editorial boards have begun to polarize between “the regime” and “the opposition”, although in fact material interests were largely more important than the ideological differences.
The transition to a democratic atmosphere also didn’t lead to a qualitative media breakthrough. In fact, the Croatian media have definitely lost their credibility. They are no longer controlled by the political elite, which in itself is very positive, but that hasn’t broadened the freedom of the media. The true rulers of the media have become advertisers, almost untouchable for any criticism. This is particularly evident in the circumstances of a drastic decline in circulation of most newspapers and continuous growth in the number of concessions in the television and radio domain, as well as the proliferation of Internet portals. The logical consequence is a complete commercialization of the media, and the professional and social status of journalists is continuously weakening.

Ključne riječi

media, credibility, totalitarian, autocratic, democratic, journalistic freedom, politicians, advertisers

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Podaci na drugim jezicima: hrvatski

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