Croatian ‘Novosti’ Shortlisted for Freedom of Expression Award

Freedom of Expression Awards logo. Photo: Index on Censorship

The Croatian weekly, representing the country’s Serbian minority, is the only European newspaper among four candidates that Index on Censorship has shortlisted for its 2018 Freedom of Expression Award.

by Sven Milekic, BIRN, Split

The London-based NGO Index on Censorship has shortlisted the Croatian independent weekly Novosti as one of only four finalists for its prestigious 2018 Freedom of Expression Award.

Index on Censorship, which advocates for freedom of expression, has chosen the newspaper of Croatia’s Serbian ethnic minority as the only media outlet coming from Europe for the award in the area of journalism.

Mexican webzine Avispa Midia, American non-profit media MuckRock and an investigative journalist Wendy Funes are nominated for the award, along with Novosti.

Announcing the shortlisted candidates, Index on Censorship stated that the weekly reports on a range of topics, not solely on issues within Croatia’s Serbian community, and has faced considerable pressure.

In Croatia, the weekly is widely seen as anti-establishment, drawing on some of the journalists who used to work for the now defunct satirical weekly Feral Tribune.

“In the past year, the outlet’s journalists have faced attacks and death threats mainly from the ultra-conservative far-right. For its reporting, the staff of Novosti have been met with protests under the windows of the magazine’s offices, shouting fascist slogans and anti-Serbian insults and told they would end up killed like [French satirical magazine] Charlie Hebdo journalists,” Index on Censorship wrote in the explanation of its candidacy.

“Despite the pressure, the weekly persists in writing the truth and defending freedom of expression,” it concluded.

The award dates back to 1972, and the winners will be announced on a ceremony in London in April.

The article was republished from Balkan Insight with permission.