Sasa Lekovic, new president of Croatian Journalists’ Association

Croatian journalist Sasa Lekovic, the founder and president of the Investigative Journalism Center, was elected president of the Croatian Journalists’ Association (HND) on 25 April.  He won a mandate to lead the association for the next four years in a contest that included five other prominent Croatian journalists. HND, founded in 1910, has some 3,000 members. In his proposed program, Mr Lekovic painted a bleak picture of Croatian journalism, underlining corrupt relationships among  journalists, media owners, politicians and advertisers which have diminished  the integrity of journalism as a profession. He pledged to work toward better labour conditions for journalists and campaign for legislative changes to bring more transparency to media ownership.Mr Lekovic has also highlighted the politicization of the media as an issue that the association would have to address in order to regain the integrity of Croatian journalism. “There are deep political divisions among journalists themselves, in the first place between those advocating right-wing and left-wing values.  These divisions must not stand in the way of honest professional reporting,” said Mr Lekovic. The Investigative Journalism Center, which Mr Lekovic founded in 2003, is a member of South East European Network for Profession­alization of Media (SEENPM). Mr Lekovic became a journalist in 1979. During his career, he worked, among other outlets, for Jutarnji list and Vecernji list, the two biggest dailies in Croatia.