Croatia: The Case Of Journalist Karolina Vidovic-Kristo And A Rude Awakening To Denial Of Human Rights

 

Karolina Vidovic-Kristo Photo: Patrik Macek/Pixsell

Karolina Vidovic-Kristo
Photo: Patrik Macek/Pixsell

One would think that the firing or hiring of a journalist (or any employee, anywhere) is a matter that is not newsworthy and that any breaches of employee’s rights in the process are private legal matters to pursue. However, when the firing or hiring alerts one to blatant breaches of human rights, to the fact that employer’s Codes of Ethics may be in violation of the country’s Constitution as well as UN convention on Human Rights then such cases are newsworthy and such cases require action with view to protecting democracy – especially when we are dealing with a major public information source such as state-run radio and television. And, when it comes to Croatia – a country still obviously in transition from communist totalitarian regime of former Yugoslavia, then the citizens’ vigilance upon the state of democratic processes is all the more justified and necessary.

On January 5, 2015, Croatian Radio & TV/HRT Director-General Goran Radman summarily dismissed journalist Karolina Vidovic Kristo, saying that her employment contract was terminated because she insulted and disparaged him by putting his name in the context of the former totalitarian Socialist Yugoslavia and mentioning his previous position as director of the then Television Zagreb.” Reportedly the dismissal was preceded by in-house debates about banning the reporter from participating in the Croatian Catholic Radio’s program “Why I believe”, and which ban the HRT management made in line with the HRT Code of Ethics.
To refresh the reader’s memory, Karolina Vidovic-Kristo came under a sharp public spotlight in early 2013 after she was suspended as the editor of a cancelled TV program  “Picture of Croatia” for the Croatian expatriate community over a broadcast entitled “Pedophilia as Basis of Sexual Education?” in which she expressed fears that Croatia’s school sex-education curriculum was being influenced by those who used pedophiles in research of child-sexuality/ Kinsey Report.
Freedom of expression is a fundamental human right, as recognised by article 19 of the ICCPR (International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights/UN), and an integral element of a democratic society. As the European Court of Human Rights has expressed it:

 
Freedom of expression constitutes one of the essential freedoms of a democratic society and one of the basic conditions for its progress and for every individual’s self-fulfillment … it is applicable not only to ‘information’ or ‘ideas’ that are favourably received or regarded as inoffensive or as a matter of indifference, but also to those that offend, shock or disturb. Such are the demands of that pluralism, tolerance and broadmindedness without which there is no ‘democratic society’ (Case of Plon [Societe] v France ECHR 200 [2004]).
As noted above, although Croatia would be a signatory to the ICCPR, article 35 of the Constitution of the Republic of Croatia guarantees “respect for and legal protection of a person’s private and family life…” and in its article 38 it “guarantees freedom of thought and freedom of expression”, there are evidently no efforts being invested by the state authorities to ensure that the Code of Ethics implemented by the state-funded Croatian Radio & Television (HRT) reflect the implementation of commitment to these human rights.

In its statement dated 22 January 2015 the Croatian Helsinki Committee for Human Rightson the summary dismissal of Karolina Vidovic Kristo and the responsibility of the Director in Chief Goran Radman for the situation at HRT”, the Committee agrees “that Karolina Vidovic-Kristo was right when she alleged that the Code of Ethics for journalists and creative staff and the General Rules were in violation of the Constitution of the RC and international standards of human rights, which also include the right to freedom of speech, opinion and religion”.

Article 47 of the Code of Ethics of HRT states that “Journalists and creative staff must be aware of the fact that everything they do, write or send to the public will be deemed to be an act of HRT”.

Therefore”, stated a Croatian journalist, “not only our religious convictions, but everything we do in public, all our free-time activities presented in the public, are deemed to be acts of HRT, although they are not presented in the name of HRT but in our own name. Indeed, this gives the impression that we are someone’s property.”
All those present at a meeting discussing the HRT Code of Ethics agreed that these positions taken in the Code of Ethics and the General Rules are a violation of fundamental human rights and the Constitution of the Republic of Croatia, and that in fact, “they deprive journalists of elements of their creativity and character.”

Indeed, one may go a step further and say there are cases in Croatia where a person is punished for expressing their personal opinion! And the case of Karolina Vidovic-Kristo is evidence to that. Indeed, which country bar a totalitarian state permits the practices of denying an employee a private life, expression of private opinions? In which country can a fact-based opinion expressed about ones work supervisor/manager/colleague lead to summary dismissal!? Where are the proper mechanisms to assert as to whether an opinion offends or insults someone or whether, in fact, the opinion is expressed in good faith in order to further a greater cause, a greater good; in this case – a furtherance of democratic practices!?

This is absolutely shocking!

In communist Yugoslavia, people knew only what the communist government wanted them to know; communist operatives were required to live and breathe communist party lines.

Director in Chief of HRT was appointed by the Croatian parliament and his political affiliation was ensured by the majority seats in the parliament, hence leading to leaving the public informing through that media outlet biased to the advantage of the outgoing president Ivo Josipovic and the former communist party members and affiliates currently leaning towards the Social Democrat, left-leaning, government that is evidently failing miserably at monitoring the implementation of and compliance with democratic principles contained in the Constitution and beyond.

Be that as it may, the Director in Chief of HRT/Croatian Radio and Television (Goran Radman) must be held accountable and responsible for maintaining and promulgating the Code of Ethics for the employees that are, more likely than not, in blatant breach of the country’s constitution and laws on freedom of expression and human rights. This matter cannot be fixed by changing that Code of Ethics to comply with legislative requirements, it can only be fixed by the sacking of the Director in Chief and replacing him with another person whose priority is compliance with the legislation and democracy. On that note, I am pleased that the Croatian Helsinki Committee for Human Rights is supporting the initiative of Mr Branko Hrg MP to the parliament that Goran Radman, as Director in Chief HRT be dismissed. My Lord, he should have been suspended from duties, pending an investigation, the very moment Karolina Vidovic-Kristo had alerted to the likely and serious constitutional and human rights violations within the HRT Code of Ethics! Ina Vukic, Prof. (Zgb); B.A., M.A.Ps.(Syd)

Comments

  1. Interesting 🙂

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    • Yes, Lea – the mind boggles at things one finds when coming out of totalitarian regimes – old habits die hard it seems and it takes the brave to correct them. Cheers

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  2. I can’t help but think that we as a society are being put through some sort of litmus test the last while. Both globally and locally here in Croatia. Globally we have the shootings at Charlie Hebdo. A despicable and cowardly act of terrorism, unjustifiable by any means, despite the vile content that they often put out. The tragedy begs the question of where is the limit to free speech. And there is a limit. In my opinion, CH’s content often borders on hate speech and/or yelling fire in a crowded theatre, which is not considered legitimate free speech But all that aside, later on, our own Croatian heads of state, participated in the Paris march, allegedly showing their support for free speech. How bizarre.

    Here in Croatia we’ve had our own freedom of speech issues. Take Frljic’s commandeering of the National Theatre in Rijeka, and using it to promote his own personal agendas. Unimpeded. Indeed with the complete support of mayor Obersnel and other Chicken coalition “art critics”. Without getting into the description of the vile content, the question being begged is whether it is excusable that people are being arrested for complaining about the content or for taking pictures (without flash) in the theatre, despite the fact there are no signs posted indicating prohibition. If Frljic is playing the freedom of speech card from the bottom of the deck, why are normally law-abiding citizens being arrested at his whim, for publicly disagreeing with him?

    During the presidential campaign, some kids in Split distributed a poster of Josipovic and Seselj with their arms around each other (satirically, probably sparked by Seselj’s public endorsement of Josipovic) and for this were arrested and fined 1500 HKN. Also during the campaign, the head of udarno.com was suspiciously arrested after tying Josipovic’s father to a 1972 execution style UDBA murder of an entire family in Italy, and is still being kept in pre-trial for an alleged charity scam. Then we have the firing of Tihomir Dujmovic from Vecernji and the arrest of Velimir Bujanec shortly before the last local elections. Not to mention the media lynch and the Chicken coalition’s public whipping of Joe Simunic for sharing his joy in taking Croatia to the 2014 World Cup by chanting an old battle cry used by HOS, with fans who joined him shouting “za dom spremni”. And yet they march for free speech.

    Then there’s Karolina Vidovic-Kristo, a double-victim of the hypocrisy-ridden Croatian administration which allows two brutal examples of stifling freedom of speech to go completely unpunished. How does giving an opinion opposite to the government’s on early childhood sex education hurt or harm society? How does criticism of an obviously questionable m/o by the head of HRT deserve getting the boot? Given that Zoran Sprajc and Hrvoje Zovko weren’t even warned for their deceitful splice-and-tape job tampering with Dedakovic’s phone call to Tudjman’s office, Karolina’s firing only proves that we need a top-down fumigation of (at least) our national media. How many more Branimir Bilic’s will be tormented for not towing the party line, how many Bruno Kovacevic’s will be browbeaten and bullied for NOT whipping a then-young-ski star Ivica Kostelic for an off the cuff remark (I’m as ready as a German soldier in 1941) in an interview. How does the lynching that Hrvoje Males was subjected to for an old photo of him and his buddies wearing Ustashe caps compare to the total impunity of our very own president claiming that partizan caps with the red star are caps of peace and love? Sometimes it seems that one and only one side has been given the divine right to express its thoughts and feelings publicly without impunity while some of us who disagree with them have to bite our tongue or else face some rotten consequences.

    Back to Charlie Hebdo and how it affects our own situation here in Croatia. Two quotes come to mind. First, Voltaire, “I disapprove of what you say, but I will defend to the death your right to say it.” and second, P.J. O’Roarke, “There is only one basic human right, the right to do as you damn well please. And with it comes the only basic human duty, the duty to take the consequences.”. When the people begin to recognize these 2 concepts, they will begin to feel the true democratic freedom that other countries with long traditions of free speech and democracy enjoy. They will be able to weed out the bullsh*t from legitimate satire, agitprop from proper reporting, gratuitous shock-jocking from well-placed select profanity, and as in Frljic’s case, art from junk.

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    • Love your “summary”, Brankec – the duty to take the consequences, as regulated by law of course, is I believe a matter all who speak, write etc publicly take into consideration and if, for example, there’s a case of defamation then that is a part of free expression process and,defamation of course has its rules and definitions so that not all seemingly defaming is actually defamation – often matters of claims of such nature do not succeed in courts, particularly if facts are stated and matters are of public interest and what the public – the taxpayer – needs to know. In the case of Karolina Vidovic Kristo it seems that even the Code of Ethics of HRT serves as a tool to maintain the communist-like regime mindset: “though shalt not speak untoward about your leader”… not even if such speaking is not done in the course of one’s job or role…it seems that not even the parliament, that appoints the head of HRT is much interested in the retention of good, healthy democratic minds in journalists, who in reality should be the real asset of a state-run television, not its head…ah, so much work still to be done for democracy and freedom of expression in Croatia…the Croatian hypocrites that took part in the Charlie Hebdo march in Paris should hang their heads in shame for they’ve done bugger all to advance freedom of expression in Croatia

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      • Of course, by ‘consequences’ I meant strictly those regulated by law, although there is that element of risk that we all take by publicly declaring our opinions. In our case, it’s possible that a crazed yugophile might not like what we write and could take drastic action like the terrorists did in Paris. We are both aware of that possiblity and accept the risk, but write anyway in the interest of a need for the pursuit of truth. In that pursuit I’m sure we probably offend those yugophiles that we criticize, and even accept that they will feel affronted, but all that is is a product of getting a point across with which they don’t agree. (see Voltaire quote). A lot of our like-thinkers especially in Croatia won’t like it, but we are going to have to tolerate dorks like Frljic and others like him, but we don’t need to do that quietly. Hopefully our new president and the soon-to-be newly elected government will recognize the fine line between bad taste and defamation or yelling fire in a crowded theatre, and will come to the aid of all critics, regardless of political affiliation. For now though, I think we can count ourselves lucky that neither of us works at HRT or relies on any yugo-dominated institution for our livelihoods or we’d find ourselves each on our respective arses somewhere just outside an HRT exit door. Hahaha!

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      • Risks of nasty consequences I think are generally minimalised or altogether prevented if one takes care of certain essentials before speaking out but, yes, even meticulous assessments don’t preclude one from being exposed to the “Frljics” of this world and, as you say Brankec – we keep not quiet about the wrongs. Truth, decency and fairness is what all should strive toward, not all do, however – that’s a given and it’ll take a great deal for the concept of “in good faith” to catch on in Croatia…to right a wrong requires consistency and that is something I like in Karolina Vidovic Kristo. It is as you say so fantastic not to have to depend on the institutions poisoned with resistance to democracy and freedom of expression.

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      • therealamericro says:

        Democracy means Frljicas can live and function.

        And their presence actually is a good thing because it lets us know what they really think about things so when major politicians and parties align with them, we know that they share the same, in Frljica’s case, YUgoslav homonationalist-socialist views.

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      • Good point, therealamericro

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    • therealamericro says:

      Excellent analysis. It must be noted that Goran Radman was named by senior pre-war Zagreb KOS official Radojko Radoncic, who turned himself in in 1993 seeing SRAO “Krajina” had no chance of survival, as a KOS operative in his debriefing by Croatian intelligence. And Radman was head of slavishly pro-Milosevic TV Zagreb before the democratic changes.

      So Kristo was fired over inconvenient facts and truths in an entirely political escapade.

      Ina: you may want to throw your eye on this: http://www.vecernji.hr/svijet/tvrtka-iz-sad-a-spremna-na-nagodbu-sa-srbima-koji-je-tuze-zbog-obuke-hv-a-i-genocida-u-oluji-985999.

      This is the US government’s, namely State Department’s way of equating guilt – despite the Gotovina and Markac ruling demolishing the hate speech spewed by Strbac and the ultra-nationalist Serbian diaspora organization in regards to surgically clean Oluja during which the civil and military judiciary functioned properly – following the Gotovina-Markac overturning.

      The truth and MPRI’s cash is being sacrificed to keep alive the Soros-NED-IRI-State Department front Balkan Insight “equal guilt” agenda. This will no doubt be used by Serbia’s legal team to thwart a ruling which no doubt up until now was a slam dunk for Croatia considering the unbelievable demolishing of every single point and sub-point of the racist, genocide justifying and future genocide abating hate speech counter-suit by Serbia.

      This is major high level deep state agenda legal games to change history.

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      • Thanks for the link, therealamericro, will certainly pursue further research on that – one wonders then if true if Croatia or the US company placed a counterclaim with regards to Croats cleansed from Krajina, killed etc before Oluja…one expected Serbs weren’t about to accept any responsibility and this is quite shocking and I hope if true Croatia will learn a lesson regarding its neighbour

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      • Let’s hope that Croatia through our new President will press for, support or initiate a legal claim against Serbia for pre Oluja damage. In fact for any pre-Croatia victory damages by Serbia, it’s army, para military and military advisors. This action by the Serbs is actually a precedence that if successful will set the stage for successful claims by Croatia. This is not about genocide, this is about unlawful damages by Serbia. This is a long over-due action.

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      • therealamericro says:

        Looks like Mr. Luka Misetic cleared up some things on his blog.

        However, just in case, I suggest his defense team readers of this blog make sure to forward MPRI the following:

        https://www.jagcnet.army.mil/DOCLIBS/MILITARYLAWREVIEW.NSF/0/17ecb457e9eff74285257bf0005a5903/$FILE/By%20Gary%20D.%20Solis.pdf

        https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qSRXAYeSo3M (note the author of the “case” confirms it was a massive evacuation, not “ethnic cleansing”)

        http://www.icty.org/case/gotovina/4#acdec

        Just for good measure ; – )

        The pornographic treatise includes a claim regarding the alleged air to ground attack against a convoy. The problem with the pornographic treatis’ claim is that Tanjug reported on that and it stated that it was the RS Air Force, under Karadzic’s orders, that bombed the mixed civilian-military convoy to “motivate them” to fight. BBC translations conveniently scrubbed this from their archives but there are those of us who copy pasted it years ago, so that claim – something the paid agents of foreign influence at the State Department’s Balkan Insight bring up annually around the times of Operation Storm celebrations – is also debunked.

        That about wraps up the “case” by Strbac and his psychopathic, sociopathic, compulsive lying cohorts in Chicago ; – )

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      • Ah, great minds think alike, therealamerico 🙂 cheers

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  3. From Facebook: if it were truly a matter of HRT wanting to keep a certain distance from any individual’s commentary, it would have been so easy to place a notice at the beginning of the show saying something like “the following program does not necessarily reflect the opinion of management, etc. etc.” This seems to me more like the old “control” game. As long as the government controls the press, there is no freedom of the press, or at least not at that press.

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    • If HRT did that, David, it would mean they operate properly and in the interests of the public! That’s evidently not the case for HRT – sadly

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      • If HRT were run properly, it would need to forewarn the public of any program that overtly or covertly over-represented any one particular side, which, given the Party-sponsored programming on HTV, would mean that we’d probably spend more time watching warnings than programming. 🙂

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      • Goes to show, Brankec: HRT needs to be cleansed of its top echelons

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  4. Thank you for visiting, Ina ! 🙂

    Regards,
    Aliosa.

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  5. >Indeed, which country bar a totalitarian state permits the practices of denying an employee a private life, expression of private opinions? In which country can a fact-based opinion expressed about ones work supervisor/manager/colleague lead to summary dismissal!?<
    Perhaps I was a totalitarian dictator in a previous life. 🙂

    I totally disagree with your conclusions. Here's why:
    According to your report, the employee was the one who violated her boss's private life by bringing him into a debate in which he did not want to be engaged as a private person. Here's my rationale. If I were to write an article about Ina Vukic, and I framed it as such: Ina Vukic, one-time professor at a communist college now has a weblog promoting Croatian . . ." I would have set the tone for the rest of the article, which would be obvious as to where it was leading, A Hatchet Job.

    A similar tactic to gain attention for herself by what I consider muck-racking is the use of the Kinsey Report. It's guilt by association, and it places the victim of the article on the defensive immediately. Fox News used the same tactic in one of their prime time airings. People have used the Kinsey report for quite some time. Indeed, one wonders how much actually value it has after so many societal changes over the many years. In my opinion, the people who use the report could be cited for laziness because they haven't funded a recent report, using the (possibly over-restrictive) standards of today's researchers.

    Nevertheless, it isn't any type of ethical conundrum equivalent to that of using "Doctor" Mengele's research, because he specifically set up human experiments that violated all sense of morality and personally violated his victims in the most egregious way. The Kinsey Report is simply that, a report–albeit not one that would go over by today's standards of research. but they reported was people told them rather than experimenting upon people themselves.

    I see the reporter as someone who is in a very competitive business where it is difficult to make it to the top of the food chain and stay there. What she did wasn't extraordinarily unusual, but it, in my opinion, isn't proper journalism.

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    • I can see where you’re coming from, Donald – however if you were to say I was a one-time professor at a communist college I would say that was a lie and defamation because it’s not true but if it were true I would simply get over it and say something “those were the times where there were no other colleges etc” the point is that the journalist stated the truth and she did not do that most likely out of the blue but in a context that relates to practices at TV station now and during communism etc. Regarding Kinsey and her suspension it was certainly not trying to catch attention but to relate information to the publiuc regarding the sex-education curriculum at school and persons involved in putting it together who were associated with actual research done by Kinsey using pedophiles, also a discussion as to whether child sex-education should include certain sensitive and controversial details – as a journalist he duty was to lay out to the public (parents) all the facts surrounding school education curriculum etc – she did succeed and the whole matter went to high courts, the curriculum that attracted controversy and opposition suspended and new one introduced – hence, sorry to say, she acted in the interests of the public not herself and paid dearly for it.

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      • Well, obviously you know more about the context than I do. It just seemed dicey to me the way she went about it. Now, where I’m coming from is the perspective of a US citizen who knows that the books are cooked in terms of what news we get and why we get it — and the ego and ambition of reporters.
        Simply meant to add some possible varying perspective on the issue. Glad I did. But as I said, I don’t know anymore than what’s in your article.
        Well, as you can see my project is going over with a thud. I’m not going to let that stop me though. I think there must be a reason why I have the best network, by a long shot, of any community and the fewest members. (If it won’t fit on a bumper sticker, people don’t want to discuss it.) I, naturally, get more out of a discussion when people genuinely disagree with my position than when they don’t — or pretend they don’t. Anyway, beats me why I have about two hundred Read Out Loud PDFs and no one is using them.

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      • All good, Donald, opposing or disagreeing views are as good as the agreeing ones – I did put a link in the article top my previous post etc for further info and it’s a given one cannot cram everything into a blog article so no worries. Reporters are reporters but in this case it’s not just reporting it’s also giving opinion, critical analysis of material most relevant in the employment of people and their duties – such as Code of Ethics. I see nothing wrong with ambition of reporters if that reporting contributes to information and growth of society in whatever way. But generally, I think media output is controlled by someone or other and, therefore, thank God for the independents and for individual bloggers who depend on no one 🙂

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      • That’s what I try to do. Get my information from sources that are not mainstream. Of course even they have agendas. So it’s a matter of putting the pieces together and seeing what makes the most sense and where the preponderance of evidence lies.

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      • Of course everyone has agendas, Donald – that’s a normal thing. I try and put links to sources of information and other material for readers to make up their minds. My agenda is furtherance of democracy in Croatia and working towards contributing to cleansing it from long=standing habits formed during fifty + years of totalitarian communism.

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    • If someone who has worked in high position during communist totalitarian regime holds a high position today and their style and attention to details do not reflect today’s requirements and seem to undermine or violate the practices we should be seeing today then questioning their “official/working” past and its possible influence on executing today’s duties is a duty, not a personal insult.

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      • I just don’t see it that way based on the limited information I have. The state of “journalism” in the US is awful. What she did is not uncommon here. Sadly. I don’t believe a thing they say. It’s a corrupt system top to bottom in the US. Thus, I am suspicious of reporters, their bosses, the corporations than own and control them and the government that provides the information they report.
        Sounds a lot like the problems you all had under communist control. To quote the famous lyrics, “Meet the new boss, same as the old boss.”

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    • Wilkinson says:

      I’m used to working in a system where compliance with legislation is checked every year if one is to continue receiving government or taxpayer funding. That is non-negotiable. So, it would seem that in this HRT case that there was and is no compliance checks and if there were some under Goran Radman they were likely done under suspicious circumstances or by “blind” people. Mind boggles that an employer, HRT, expects in its Code of Ethics, that employees live as HRT, not themselves, i.e. their private lives taken away. It’s a given that in journalism an employer expects from journalist not to work for another like employer or role without clearing it with them first. That’s a widespread practice worldwide and nobody is questioning that but to deny an employee/journalist to express personal opinions without those being attached to their place of work does in my book constitute a serious violation of human rights. There are many unsavory, politically colored goings on in the media worldwide but when it comes to a company’s Code of Ethics – regulating employee behavior and roles, then there is no discussion nor room for politics. These must comply with law and that’s that!

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      • From memory: It seemed that the code of conduct simply asked the employees not to behave in a way that would not disgrace or degrade themselves and their employer. That seems perfectly reasonable to me. If the actions of one person affects everyone else (or even a limited few) in the company that one person is, in my view, being self-centered. For instance, the don’t call it a workers union for nothing. In such a case as that, one person can seriously damage the image of the entire group. The enemies are ready to pounce on every utterance and every weakness they can find.

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      • Budding in here, Donald: “Journalists and creative staff must be aware of the fact that everything they do, write or send to the public will be deemed to be an act of HRT”. Cheers

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      • Budding is good. : )
        That’s what companies that are important to US national interests say, but rarely do. I agree with that injunction. Just look at what happens when people don’t abide by it. The US has been caught red handed on several instances of spying on our allies, going so far as to invade Angela Merkel’s personal cell phone. There is an unsettling sense of arrogance and abuse of power one feels in such cases as that. It tainted the reputation of the entire country. I wouldn’t do that, and I expect my country to represent me in an admirable and ethical manner — which they did not, and are continually violating every ethical norm by which an honorable country should be performing its functions as representatives.
        The lowest point was when the Attorney General of the US promised the Russians that we wouldn’t torture Snowden if they turned him over to us. (That was shocking and outrageous). “Oh how the mighty have fallen.”

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      • And I guess if we stop fighting that which is unjust and hoping for better there’s only a dark abyss for most 🙂 I’m not ready to give up 🙂

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      • Here are the guidelines from a public funded news program that was the best source of reliable information. In the US that isn’t a glowing recommendation, for no doubt our best is other countries’ worst. But overall I think Jim did a good admirable job. Unfortunately, he’s retired and other hands are at the helm. They do an okay job.

        Jim Lehrer’s Rules of Journalism

        I practice journalism in accordance with the following guidelines:

        • Do nothing I cannot defend.
        • Do not distort, lie, slant or hype.
        • Do not falsify facts or make up quotes.
        • Cover, write and present every story with the care I would want if the story
        were about me.
        • Assume there is at least one other side or version to every story.
        • Assume the viewer is as smart and caring and good a person as I am.
        • Assume the same about all people on whom I report.
        • Assume everyone is innocent until proven guilty.
        • Assume personal lives are a private matter until a legitimate turn in the
        story mandates otherwise.
        • Carefully separate opinion and analysis from straight news stories and
        clearly label it as such.
        • Do not use anonymous sources or blind quotes except on rare and
        monumental occasions. No one should ever be allowed to attack another
        anonymously.
        • Do not broadcast profanity or the end result of violence unless it is an
        integral and necessary part of the story and/or crucial to its understanding.
        • Acknowledge that objectivity may be impossible but fairness never is.
        • Journalists who are reckless with facts and reputations should be
        disciplined by their employers.
        • My viewers have a right to know what principles guide my work and the
        process I use in their practice.
        • I am not in the entertainment business.

        -Jim Lehrer

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    • Unimatrix says:

      This is not just the case of the said journalist. HRT (Croatian national TV) under Radman has become a very antinational. I’ve myself stopped watching it. 90% of news comes from Serbia. They like to call it region. But, the region would normally encompass other countries around Croatia: B&H, Hungary, Austria, Italy, Slovenia etc., but NO! I’d like to illustrate the absurdity with an example from last summer: there was a problem of mosquitoes in the north of Croatia and the reporter said: “Let’s check what’s what’s going on in Serbia since they may be experiencing the same problem!” , without even bother to visit that part of Croatia previously mentioned. I don’t remember having so much news from Serbia even before in YU times. It was TV Zagreb and mostly covered the news from Croatia. Most “reporters” are hardly reporters at all and what’s more they fail to have any university degree at all. They are all politically correct and easily controlled but they don’t need any control anyway because they share the main editor’s views in every respect. Radman has fired even the waitress from the TV café because she said something he didn’t like. All main newspapers are more or less the same. If you want to be banned from commenting, the only thing you have to post under an article is: there’s no Yugoslavia any more. We are lucky to have local TVs, papers and the Internet above all. To sum up – the freedom of speech is now worse than it used to be during communist times.

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  6. Postovani Ina, This is personally sad as I know Karolina from her very professional HRT interview of me on 30 Nov. 2012. I have 30 connections with HRT producers and journalists. Radman is previous Dean of VERN University with everybody he knows personally and professionally compromised with being associated with him. He is Linkedin with 500+ connections. Whatever exactly prompted his dismissal of Karolina is a BIG mistake that he will greatly regret if he does not act to reinstate her position and way apologize. I am invited to attend the inauguration of President-elect Grabar-Kitarović during which time I will seek the absolute accurate details of Radman’s conduct and provide to you.
    Connor Vlakancic, Director, HRiSAD Vizija Budućnosti Koalicija

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  7. A truly interesting case and perfectly documented … Thanks for sharing stuff related with the legal frame- background as Freedom of Speech is nowadays a crucial topic, even more considering the slayers in regard to Charlie Hebdo´s Issue.
    Best regards!, Aquileana 😀

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  8. This reminds me of companies who fire employees because something they posted online doesn’t conform to their corporate political or social agenda. I’m very careful about what I share in my articles online and where I share them. Because I’m a union official I have to be sure that I don’t go against the “grain” of their precious, political action initiatives.

    Although I find amusement in edging closer to the cliff each time.

    I’ve grown quite sick of all this political correctness crap and trying to censor journalism.

    It was good to bring this out and publicise it!

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    • I’ve grown quite sick of censoring journalists too, Joseph – and when such censorship takes the task of hiding the truth from the public then it’s very disquieting

      Like

  9. therealamericro says:

    Piece for you:

    Savo Strbac’s Legal Farces: Legitimizing Illegitimacy and Criminality

    A celebrity in Serbia as well as among the ultra-nationalist Serbian Diaspora, and close friend of [Zoran Pusic LINK https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sPMQPTAsVdk%5D, Croatian Foreign Minister Vesna Pusic’s brother, [Savo Strbac LINK http://www.hic.hr/english/index_Strbac.htm%5D was the former Secretary of the so-called “Krajina” – which was ethnically cleansed of nearly all of of its’ non-Serb population between the spring of 1991 and January 15, 1992, according to both the [Martic LINK http://www.icty.org/x/cases/martic/cis/en/cis_martic_en.pdf%5D and [Babic LINK http://www.icty.org/x/cases/babic/cis/en/cis_babic_en.pdf%5D rulings – the few non-Serbs that remained being barred from voting, and those who were ethnically cleansed barred by the “Krajina” government from ever returning.

    Before Serbia’s genocidal aggression against Croatia, and before Milosevic’s Yogurt Revolution, Strbac was a Yugoslav People’s Army military prosecutor.

    After Milosevic’s takeover and start of his very public and systematic trampling of the 1974 Yugoslav Federal Republic Constitution and illegal, unconstitutional centralization and Serbianization campaign, Strbac became a key member of the “Krajina” leadership involved in arming radical, pro-Nazi and WWII Italy collaborating Chetnik and pro-Milosevic Croatian Serbs via arms shipments from Serbia’s Ministry of the Interior, Serbia’s State Intelligence Service (SDB SR Serbia) and the Serbianized (by Milosevic) Yugoslav Federal Army (JNA), Yugoslav Federal Army Counter-Intelligence (KOS), as well as the Federal State Intelligence Service (FROY SDB).

    The ICTY began working with Veritas and his Milosevic government subsidized “human rights” organization Veritas in 1993, when, at Milosevic’s behest and with Milosevic government financing, Savo Strbac formed the “humanitarian” non-governmental organization (directly financed by Milosevic’s and every subsequent Serbian government), “Veritas,” in ethnically purified (of non-Serb) “Krajina” – placing the ICTY in a monstrous conflict of interest as Strbac was not just the Propaganda Minister, pardon, Information Minister of “Krajina” in 1991 inciting Serbs into war crimes and hate, but also Secretary of the “Krajina” from late 1991 through August 1995.Strbac himself bore command responsibility, and [Strbac didn’t hide his real views about how he dreamed of total separation of Croats and Serbs, and “Krajina” joining a Greater Serbia, during the war LINK http://www.nytimes.com/1994/12/04/weekinreview/the-world-the-serbs-dream-but-dare-not-wake.html%5D – yet despite all this, the ICTY continued to work closely with him and his “humanitarian” organization.

    A vociferous public defender of Milosevic’s policies, [as well as more or less public spokesperson for the accused war criminal “Daniel Snedden,” or Captain Dragan LINK https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KvnX_tmO3ck%5D, Strbac himself stated on Republika Srpska television that the “Krajina” leadership ordered a mass withdrawal – or in his words – from the “Krajina” as soon as Operation Storm began, seen here with English subtitles: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qSRXAYeSo3M, which entirely demolishes the ICJ counter-suit, as well as Chicago class action law suit against L3 Communications-MPRI, as do [Milosevic’s own words at the August 15, 1995 Supreme Defense Council Meeting LINK exodus LINK http://www.sense-agency.com/icty/gotovina-seeks-help-from-serbia.29.html?news_id=12933%5D.

    Cited by many outlets – including the untransparently funded State Department regional English language online propaganda organ Balkan Insight, as if he never served as – and had and has no command responsibility for all the crimes committed on the territory of and in the name of “Krajina” – wartime Secretary of the “Krajina,” Strbac has and continues to spew Milosevic’s hate-filled, genocide-justifying propaganda.

    Yet his racist suggestions have been accepted as fact in both the logically acrobatic ICJ counter-suit by Serbia and the current, openly racist (suggesting intellectual inferiority on the entire Croatian nation) class action law suit against L3 Communications-MPRI in Chicago which he co-authored.

    In addition to suggesting that sheep were buried in the Ovcara mass grave of over 260 Vukovar hospital patients despite this claim being entirely debunked by the UN’s investigation and the actual exhumation, [Strbac stated as fact that it is lawful to kill civilians during war LINK http://www.sense-agency.com/icty/shepherds-exchanged-for-prisoners-sheep-buried-in-ovcara.29.html?cat_id=1&news_id=16209%5D (for more on Strbac’s views, see here: http://www.sense-agency.com/sense.48.html?case_id=99).

    All of this begs the question: why hasn’t Croatia’s diplomacy made quite clear – to the ICTY, ICJ, UN and EU – that all of Serbia’s legal cases against or regarding Croatia or Croatians, including falsely imprisoned Veljko Maric, involve the open Milosevic apologist and greater Serbian ultra-nationalist and senior “Krajina” functionary Savo Strbac, his sham human rights organization that regularly engages in lies, deception and bloodthirsty hate speech, who bears command responsibility for the crimes Babic and Martic committed as he was their close collaborator as Secretary of “Krajina,” in addition to collaborating closely with Milosevic before, during and long-after Serbia’s wars.

    If Croatia’s diplomacy does not engage in a very public information campaign regarding Savo Strbac’s bloody, hate-and-lie-filled past, and its connection to nearly every legal case regarding Croatia and Serbia’s genocidal imperialist war, there is no other option other than early elections as this is, considering the ICJ’s epic miscarriage of justice by arguing a technicality – that FROY and Serbia were not a signatory of the Genocide Convention until 1992 – and legitimizing discredited and debunked claims put forth by Strbac and Serbia’s legal team, is not just intellectual laziness and indolence leading up to this point by the current government, but high treason.

    Ante Horvat (feel free to forward in Croatian or English to any and all Croatian media outlets).

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  10. therealamericro says:

    Follow up piece to one I sent:

    Pontius Pilate Redux – West, International Community Wash Their Hands of Covert and Overt Complicity in Serbia’s Crimes and Genocidal Aggression at the ICJ
    By Ante Horvat
    When discussions about the ICTY first began in the international community and international media as Serbia’s war against Croatia and democracy was at its apex, the impression was that the ICTY – and perhaps the ICJ itself – would serve as Nuremburg Courts of sorts for international war crimes and international aggression.
    Both perceptions were, and with today’s ICJ ruling, are, false.
    The ICTY and ICJ have failed their mandates dismally – and have allowed for the seeds of future conflict in the former “Yugoslav” region to be watered with no accountability being imposed on the Republic of Serbia, nor the genocidal greater Serbian idea, two pre-requisites for Serbia’s de-Nazification and coming to terms with its war criminal, expansionist, imperialist past, which is the only guarantee it will not happen again in the future.
    The Greater Serbian idea, and Serbia’s aggression as a state, has been justified and washed of any guilt at the ICTY in several rulings, the most crucial being the Stanisic and Simatovic acquitals, in addition to the ICJ today.
    The ICJ argued the morally, ethically, and ultimately legally flimsy and fallacious position that because Serbia was not a signatory of the UN Convention on Genocide until 1992, it, as Yugoslavia’s legal successor, could not be found guilty of genocide committed by the YPA, RSK and Serbian State Security (SDB) controlled paramilitary organizations in Croatia from the spring of 1991 through the January 15, 1992 cease fire despite the mountain of evidence, bodies, half a million refugees and 30,000 civilian invalids Greater Serbian genocidal aggression created.
    The court took the debunked and illegitimate claims of “Krajina” Secretary and [counter-suit co-author Savo Strbac LINK to piece I sent earlier] and breathed a life of legitimacy into some of those debunked, false, discredited, and entirely illegitimate claims.
    The reason – were Serbia found guilty of what it should have been found guilty for, several Western powers, as well as the International Community and UN itself, would have had their past governments policies and or political actors indirectly exposed and discredited and found guilty for their aiding and abetting Serbia’s aggression diplomatically and via the media at every turn.
    It must not be forgotten that senior US leadership in 1991 – [Secretary of State James Baker, Ambassador to Yugoslavia Lawrence Eagleburger, and National Security Adviser Brent Scowcroft were operating in a blatant conflict of interest as shareholders and business partners with various Yugoslav state industries, including Crvena Zastava Arms which was illegally breaking the then UN sanctions on Gadaffi’s Libya LINK http://www.studiacroatica.org/anatomy/anatomy11.htm%5D.
    Nor can it be forgotten that it was the West, International Community, and UN that pushed the arms embargo on the entire region allowing for Milosevic’s military supremacy – guaranteeing the mass murder, concentration camp internments, and systematic rape of hundreds of thousands of non-combatant non-Serbs.
    It must not be forgotten that UN forces had quite [cordial relations LINK https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0tLLkDOk56U%5D – to and include visits to brothels of “Krajina” and “RS” mafiosos, some of which were staffed by [non-Serb sex slaves LINK http://www.theguardian.com/world/2012/jan/15/bosnia-sex-trafficking-whistleblower%5D – with Croatian and Bosnian Serb leadership, who were under the direct command and control of Belgrade.
    It must not be forgotten that the UN chose General MacKenzie – whose wife Milica was a co-founder of the ultra-nationalist Serbian Unity Congress lobby group as well as active ultra-nationalist Serbnet contributor and organizer – to head the Bosnia Herzegovina mission despite this blatant conflict of interest. Nor that MacKenzie has become a public speaker on the North American and English speaking world Serbian ultra-nationalist community circuit.
    It must not be forgotten that nearly all negotiations were premised on solidifying Milosevic’s wartime gains, and that Milosevic’s minions in occupied areas of Croatia and B&H rejected all of them because they didn’t get enough territory they wanted out of it and because they usually predicated mutual and reciprocal refugee returns – anathema to an ethnically pure greater Serbian state.
    It must not be forgotten that the West, International Community and UN equated Croat and Bosniak victims’ and their self-defense against Milosevic’s well armed and technologically superior hordes with those very hordes on a regular basis despite the overwhelming evidence to the contrary.
    It must not be forgotten that it was and remains a known fact that Belgrade was arming Serbs in Croatia and Bosnia Herzegovina before any free elections, i.e. before any “Serbian innocents” could have been “threatened” by anyone, especially considering Milosevic’s purging of Yugoslav intelligence and military of non-Greater Serbian elements as the illegal arming campaigns orchestrated by Belgrade that were underway simultaneously.
    It must not be forgotten that the ICTY was working in a conflict of interest on both Croatia and B&H war crimes investigations into alleged non-Serb war crimes perpetrators by working with “Krajina” Secretary and Milosevic financed “Veritas” from 1993 through to today.
    It must not be forgotten that Jovica Stanisic and Frenki Simatovic, the architects of Serbia’s wars and concentration camp system(s) inside and outside of Serbia became sources for the Central Intelligence Agency in 1992 after approaching them, and used this relationship for disinformation to continue Serbia’s wars and maximize gains, and that Simatovic and Stanisic’s release was a reward for helping oust Milosevic after he failed on all of his behind closed doors promises and became a bit too ambitious in Kosovo – which, if Milosevic defeated Croatia in 1991 as was hoped, expected and promised, would not exist on paper or through parallel institutions today and would be covered with mass graves.
    It must not be forgotten that SENSE Agency, BIRN and Balkan Insight are directly financed propaganda mouthpieces of Western powers who green lighted Milosevic’s aggression and rewarded it at Dayton, and that the perception management campaign all three have been and are engaged in are to equate guilt between the mis-named “warring parties.”
    It must not be forgotten that this UN, Western and International Community aping of Pontius Pilate ensured that chronological order of events, the order of battle, facts, and mountains of evidence and documentation do not matter when it comes to covering up the complicity of the powerful, and that, via what could have been future trend setting and war preventing courts, have instead thoroughly, skillfully and perfidiously washed Serbia, and the electorate that voted for those wars, of any guilt or responsibility, and that this will surely come to roost in the near or distant future when the next “Vodz” arrives on Kosovo Polje or throws a yogurt can in Belgrade.
    The ICTY and the ICJ have failed humanity, truth, and ultimately, the law itself – and have no excuse for doing so other than behind the scenes power politics, that will surely bring another war to the region in the near or distant future sooner or later.

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  11. important to put the focus fearless on this topic!

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