New Croatian Culture Minister Nina Obuljen Koržinek sparked criticism and concern when she announced her media grants programme in December, leaving many non-profit and leftist media outlets without government funding. Following a stream of high-profile complaints, the outlets are now awaiting a final decision.
Many outlets fear that Ms Koržinek will follow in the footsteps of her predecessor, former Culture Minister Zlatko Hasanbegović, who made radical cuts to funding for non-profit and left-leaning media while allocating right-wing outlets larger amounts than they had previously received.
“Things that weren’t functioning in the culture ministry under the last minister are still not functioning,” affirmed Saša Leković, the president of the Croatian Journalists’ Association. “But I can understand this, as maybe the ministry still isn’t formed properly in that sector.”
When the initial decision was published, Ms Koržinek had called upon struggling media outlets to apply for EU funds.
“Those funds are very hard to get for smaller non-profit media,” commented Ana Kuzmanić, editor-in-chief of the not-for-profit magazine H-Alter, noting that certain outlets “won’t survive without state help”.
The affected outlets can expect a final decision, together with a written explanation, in early February.
Source: Balkan Insight