Left-wing media outlets in Croatia have claimed that Culture Minister Zlatko Hasanbegović has purposefully cut state funding for left-wing and non-profit media.
The controversy sparked after the Culture Ministry published a list of media outlets to receive state support, with many leftist media set to receive less or no funding from the ministry in future.
While this statement is not true across the board, with the Croatian edition of Le Monde Diplomatique, considered to be a left-wing outlet, due to receive greater financial support, this seeming anomaly has been cast by critics as strategic.
“By giving some money to at least one leftist media outlet, [Zlatko Hasanbegović] has tried to prevent accusations of wanting to cut state funding for all leftist media and of giving it to the right-wing media,” said Andrea Milat, publisher of Le Monde.
She argues that conservative and right-wing outlets such as Vijenac (Wreath) and Hrvatsko slovo (Croatian Letter) were awarded far greater amounts, with support for Le Monde only rising from 37,400 euros (US$42,500) to 40,000 euros (US$45,000) a year, compared to Vijenac‘s increase from 73,600 euros (US$83,500) to 80,000 euros (US$91,000).
Mr Hasanbegović has been seen to be taking steps to reshape Croatia’s media landscape in recent months, causing concern about media freedom in the country.
Source: Balkan Insight