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News 17 May 16

Croatian Journalist Sacked for Critiquing Nationalism

Tatjana Gromaca, a journalist for leftist Croatian daily Novi List, claims she has been fired for her 'criticism towards the nationalist point of view'.

Sven Milekic
BIRN
Zagreb
Tatjana Gromaca. Photo: curtosy of Tatjana Gromaca

A well known journalist on cultural and social issues, Tatjana Gromaca, claims that her former employer, the Croatian leftist daily Novi List, has sacked her for opposing nationalism.

“The rationale for my resignation, that they don’t need a correspondent from Istria [on the Croatian coast] is ridiculous," Gromaca told BIRN.

Gromac explained that while she had been fired as a correspondent, her contract defined her as “a journalist-reporter and columnist”.

Novi List disclosed on Thursday that it was ending cooperation with Gromaca, claiming it did not not need another journalist from the town of Pula in Istria, where Gromaca lives, since the new owner of the company also has a Pula-based daily newspaper, Glas Istre.

Before working for Novi List, Gromaca worked on topics of culture and social issues for the left-wing, anti-establishment satirical weekly newspaper, Feral Tribune.

Gromaca insisted that her work was never locally oriented and that she had interviewed people from all over the region and the world.

She believes she lost her job due to her “criticism of the nationalist point of view and because of the narrowness of people’s perception”.

She further claimed that her writing had “unmasked” such views and showed them as “a sort of a fiction”, which was dangerous for the system.

“Therefore, I am in fact a dangerous journalist, although someone maybe would not say so at first sight. But I am proud of it, as well as of the lay-off that I’ll soon get,” Gromaca concluded.

Sasa Lekovic, president of the Croatian Journalists’ Association, HND, told BIRN that the reasons for firing Gromaca were far from logical.

“They are firing her, saying they don’t need another person from Istria, although she’s not writing on Istrian issues and although she’s not a correspondent there,” he said.

HND also sent a media release on Sunday, commenting on the spate of removals and lay-offs of journalists in Novi List, referring to them as degrading.

The newspaper threatened to fire its journalist Boris Pavelic in June, after he published an interview with former Yugoslav and Croatian intelligence officer and politician Josip Manolic.

In it, he accused the Vice Prime Minister Tomislav Karamarko, also head of the Croatian Democratic Union, HDZ, of having been a spy for the Yugoslav secret services in 1980s.

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