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President's pressure on Novosti publisher

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    President Josipović and his whisperer Josip Perković President Josipović and his whisperer Josip Perković photomontage
    The latest direct public attack to the freedom of media in Croatia was caused
    by Croatian president, Mr. Ivo Josipović. Mid-August this year, Ivica Đikić,
    the editor-in-chief of the „Novosti“ weekly, the publication of Serbian
    national minority in Croatia, complained in his editorial about the Croatian's
    president informal lobbying on various level to stop further financing of this
    publication by the State. As a motive for such pressure Đikić indicated
    „Novosti“ writing on multi/million income the company Emporion, owned by Marko
    Vojković, a close friend of President Josipović, makes every year. According
    to „Novosti” the problem is that the company Emporion has millions of income
    thanks to their deals with Croatian Compositors’ Association, i.e. their
    project of protection of intellectual rights in the field of music (ZAMP).
    Apparently, this job was given to Emporion directly at the time when Ivo 
    Josipović, Vojković’s best friend, was one of the leaders of the Croatian
    Compositor’s Association. Mr. Josipović is also a man who founded ZAMP. We
    haven’t done anything but published official data on Marko Vojković income in
    the deal he won thanks to his friend Ivo Josipović.

       President Josipović reacted to these claims by sending a letter to „Novosti“
    which has been published to all the media before the magazine in question
    received it, as the President also sent to the National News Agency HINA. At
    the beginning of this letter, it is said that Đikić presented no evidence on
    President’s lobbying activities against “Novosti”, although later in the same
    text it is written as follows: “How come that in these times when many media
    went bankrupt or are about to meet that destiny (Vjesnik, Nacional, Forum……)
    due to merciless laws of the market, and when many journalist, unfortunately,
    are unemployed, only „Novosti“ and „Hrvatsko slovo“ are able to profit from
    State subsidies?” The rest of President’s letter focuses on attacking
    Novosti published, the president of Serbian National Council, Milorad Pupovac,
    who is also the president of the Foreign Affairs Committee of Croatian
    Parliament. The President claims in his lette4r that the text published in
    Novosti hasn’t been written by the editor-in-chief Đikić but the publisher
    Pupovac, SNC President, and accuses him of political blackmailing, ethno-business
    policy and raising of tensions between Serbs and Croats. Many media and
    journalists who can be linked to President Josipovic joined the attack after this
    letter, like e.g: Jutarnji list (Ninoslav Pavić, Jutarnji List owner, has business
    connections with President’s friend Marko Vojković), Večernji list (Ivan Tolj, director
    of Styria Croatia, the publisher of Večernji list, is a friend with the President,
    HTV – indices were published that the President lobbied with members of the Parlimentary Committee for Media on who should be appointed as national TV network directors).
    President of SNC, Novosti publisher, Milorad Pupovac got media space only in less
    important newspaper and electronic media explaining that media-political
    campaign is being directed against Novosti and himself.

       The President also met with several local Serbian politicians, and gave tem
    his support, while the previously listed media favoring his position continued
    to publish unsupported corruption allegations against Milorad Pupovac, Novosti
    published. The pressure on Ivica Đikić also continues so Veljko Džakula,
    President of Serbian Democratic Forum, a minor NGO competing with SNC, said
    that Novosti magazine is edited by Ivica Đikić, a journalist who, in his youth,
    glorified HOS (Croatian Defense Forces, a paramilitary war unit that wore
    ustashi- fascist signs). This was repeated in one of his interviews by Ivo
    Josipovic, the President of the Republic. As an explanation, Ivica Đikić
    offered his polemic-ironic text from 2003. The most famous Croatian journalist
    with the most international awards, Viktor Ivančić wrote in his Novosti column
    that the President is waging war against Novosti and their publisher reying on
    spy services of his national security advisor Saša Perković, and his father,
    Josip Perković, an ex-communist secret service leader and later the director
    of Croatian war military counterintelligence service, who was accused of
    murders of Croatian political emigrants in Germany in 1970s and 1980s.

       In this fight with Novosti publisher, the President of the Republic is being
    given a disproportional number in public television, e.g. on Monday, September
    3, 2012 he was a guest in the HTV magazine the Topic of the Day, that was
    supposed to deal with the most important event of the day, the show Nedjeljom
    u 2, that was aired the day before and where Milorad Pupovac was a guest. In
    his unprofessional interview the President of the Republic said that the
    allegations that he is controlling the media in Croatia are the result of the
    fact that journalists in Croatia are paranoid for market reasons.

       Zoran Milanović, the Prime Minister of the Republic of Croatia and the
    President of SDP, the party which nominated Ivo Josipović for the function of
    the president of the country commented on this issue only once so far by
    saying that SNC President and the President of the Parliamentary Committee for
    Foreign Affairs is not blackmailing his Government. He also commended
    Pupovac’s political biography.

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