The civil society group "Kulturnjaci 2016" on Wednesday sent an open letter to Croatian Radio Channel 3 acting editor-in-chief Nevenka Dujmovic expressing its dismay at her cancelling programmes by several radio editors and demanding that she withdraw her decisions and stop with "the ideological manipulation of the media."
The group said that programmes by Ljubica Letinic, Ivica Prtenjaca, Manuela Frkic Zaja, Dinko Telecan and Boris Postnikov had been cancelled and that it would notify the European Broadcasting Union (of which Croatian Radio and Television (HRT) is a member), the International Feature Conference, and the Prix Europa festival in Berlin (in which HRT participates regularly) of the latest developments and that it would support possible protest actions.
Croatian Radio Channel 3 is part of Croatia's cultural wealth, it is not a private workshop in the service of politics, the civil society group said, recalling that reporter Ljubica Letinic had won an award of the Croatian Journalists Association for her programme and that the best rated programme of Croatian Radio Channel 3, edited by writer Ivica Prtenjaca, had a daily audience of up to 40,000 people.
The loss of such a platform will definitely be felt and will affect critical perception, cultural dialogue and creative knowledge not only in the context of radio programmes, but in the context of other artistic media, the group said.
It noted that programmes edited by Telecan and Postnikov were exceptionally important contributions to acquainting the public with the regional cultural scene and that their cancellation contributed to mental and spiritual isolation.
The group said that there "is no justification for a programme policy that attempts to destroy what was painstakingly built, a policy that removes the best people and gives voice to people without radio experience or with questionable radio and professional standards and strong ideological profiles - Vladimir Loncarevic, Jure Vujic and Marito Mihovil Letica."
"We consider it to be scandalous that... at a time when acting HRT director, who installed you and whose term will soon expire, when the current caretaker government has lost the confidence of those it should be representing and when the parliament is being dissolved, you, as acting editor-in-chief of Croatian Radio Channel 3 are launching 'purges' and cancelling your best programmes," the group said.