24 July 2018 – Several journalists, working for national or international outlets, faced cyberbullying following reporting that criticised the welcome home celebration for the Croatian football national team after the World Cup, independent news website Balkan Insight reported.
According to Balkan Insight, journalists who wrote articles criticising the nationalist tone of the celebrations now find themselves on a black list that is being circulated by right-wing/conservative news websites in Croatia.
Among the websites circulating the list of names or aliases of journalists that were allegedly unfairly reporting on celebration are 7dnevno.hr and Hop.com.hr.
In those articles, besides being blacklisted, journalists are also called names like “Yugo-nostalgic” and “commies” while being portrayed as unpatriotic and someone who is staining the reputation of Croatia.
Vojislav Mazzocco, one of the journalists on the list – which claims that he reports for the Serbian daily Politika – in a statement for Balkan Insight told that the list is clearly wrong as he never wrote for that media outlet.
Neven Barković, from Index.hr, said he and other editorial staff received threats via personal Facebook profiles, on the official newsroom email and the Facebook fan page of the outlet, Balkan Insight reported.
Among the international journalists that faced cyberbullying for their reporting is Cristina Maza, a journalist for US weekly magazine Newsweek.
Maza tweeted that “the reaction to the article has been outrageous and abusive.”
National, regional and international media outlets criticised the appearance of Marko Perković Thompson, controversial far-right nationalist singer whose concerts are often marked by anti-Serbian chants and hate speech, during the celebration on the main square in the capital Zagreb.
“Perković, also known as Thompson, after the brand of machine gun he used during the wars in Yugoslavia during the 1990s, has been widely criticised for vocally supporting the Ustashe, a fascist group that ruled Croatia during World War II and collaborated with the Nazis,” Newsweek said.
The article was republished from Mapping Media Freedom, the project managed by Index on Censorship in partnership with the European Federation of Journalists and Reporters Without Borders.
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