In Croatia, a new draft media law brought forward by the government which critics say would weaken media freedoms has sparked intense debate, international attention and demands for urgent reform.

If adopted in its current form, there are fears it would roll back journalistic freedoms, limit critical reporting, jeopardize journalistic source protection, and could allow for greater politicization of media regulation and funding.

The appearance of the controversial draft law surprised even the working group that had been established specifically to help develop such a piece of legislation, causing uproar and criticism from international media freedom groups.

This episode of the MFRR In Focus, we speak with Maja Sever, a respected Croatian journalist and the President of the European Federation of Journalists (EFJ), to take a deep dive into the draft law, to assess its most problematic elements and discuss what needs to change if it is to meet international standards and represent a boost for media freedom, rather than an unnecessary burden.

Guests: Maja Sever, Croatian journalist and President of the European Federation of Journalists (EFJ).

Producer and Host: Dumitrița Holdiș, Central and Eastern Europe Media Support Coordinator.

Editor: Dumitrița Holdiș, Central and Eastern Europe Media Support Coordinator, with support from Javier Luque Martinez, Head of Digital Communications at IPI.

Additional Reading:

Croatia: Bill on Media is intolerable and must be fought (IFJ)

Croatia’s Proposed Media Law Condemned as ‘Death for Journalism’ (Balkan Insight)

This podcast series is part of the MFRR in Focus project sponsored by Media Freedom Rapid Response, which tracks, monitors and responds to violations of press and media freedom in EU Member States and Candidate Countries. The MFRR is organised by a consortium led by the European Centre for Press and Media Freedom (ECPMF) including ARTICLE 19 Europe, the European Federation of Journalists (EFJ), Free Press Unlimited (FPU), International Press Institute (IPI) and CCI/Osservatorio Balcani e Caucaso Transeuropa (OBCT).

For more in-depth podcast episodes about the state of press freedom in Europe, visit the MFRR website or search MFRR In Focus on your podcasts apps. The MFRR is co-funded by the European Commission.