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ZAGREB (Croatia), April 18 (SeeNews) - Government meddling in Croatia's public TV broadcaster HRT continues to be a real problem limiting media independence, Reporters Without Borders (RSF) said in its 2019 World Press Freedom Index report on Thursday.
HRT is clearly under political pressure with interest groups trying to influence its editorial policies and interfere in its internal operations, the international non-governmental organisation said.
The HRT management is even suing employees who have complained about these problems, and has gone so far as to bring a complaint against the Association of Croatian Journalists, RSF said.
"Meanwhile physical attacks, along with threats and cyber-violence, continue to be a major problem for journalists in Croatia. Croatian journalists who investigate corruption, organised crime or war crimes are often subjected to harassment campaigns."
Defamation is criminalised and worse still, “humiliating” media content has been criminalised since 2013, RSF said.
Compared with the previous edition of the annual report, Croatia has climbed 5 places to 64th spot in the World Press Freedom index of RSF.
Published by RSF annually since 2002, the World Press Freedom Index measures the level of freedom available to journalists in 180 countries using the following criteria – pluralism, media independence, media environment and self-censorship, legislative environment, transparency, infrastructure, and abuses.