Press release

CJA urges the President's Office to answer journalists' questions on regular basis

09.02.2017.

The Croatian Journalists' Association (CJA) urges the Office of the President of the Republic of Croatia to change its decision and to answer promptly questions put by Index.hr portal journalists as well as by all other journalists.

Index.hr asked questions based on the Access to Information Act, but was denied because apparently there were too many questions and that amount interfered with regular functioning of the Office.  

All institutions financed by the state budget are under obligation to answer questions, not only put by journalists but even by any other citizen if the question is in line with the Access to Information Act and the President's Office is no exception.

Therefore the decision not to answer questions put by any media due „too many of them“ is unprofessional regarding journalists as well as regarding general public. Citizens need to be informed and media inform them. Consequently, that decision is dangerous regarding democratic standards of the country. We strongly protest against the idea of President's Office to follow improper treatment of journalists worldwide instead of being leader in acting according to law.  

Explanation that the Office is understaffed to answer journalistic questions is especially irresponsible. It is their duty and no statement that „certain media abuse Access to Information Act“ is acceptable if most claims for answers are ignored.

It should be reminded that for ten years there have been no regular press conferences of the Government and that more then 50% of ministers have no spokesman.  

We expect regular press conferences to be reinstalled at the President's Office and in The Croatian Government. CJA repeatedly insisted on it. And we insist on high officials and state institutions to stop being selective when it comes to answers to questions put according to Access of Information Act.

Saša Leković, CJA president for CJA Executive Committee

The Croatian Journalists' Association (CJA) urges the Office of the President of the Republic of Croatia to change its decision and to answer promptly questions put by Index.hr portal journalists as well as by all other journalists.

Index.hr asked questions based on the Access to Information Act, but was denied because apparently there were too many questions and that amount interfered with regular functioning of the Office.  

All institutions financed by the state budget are under obligation to answer questions, not only put by journalists but even by any other citizen if the question is in line with the Access to Information Act and the President's Office is no exception.

Therefore the decision not to answer questions put by any media due „too many of them“ is unprofessional regarding journalists as well as regarding general public. Citizens need to be informed and media inform them. Consequently, that decision is dangerous regarding democratic standards of the country. We strongly protest against the idea of President's Office to follow improper treatment of journalists worldwide instead of being leader in acting according to law.  

Explanation that the Office is understaffed to answer journalistic questions is especially irresponsible. It is their duty and no statement that „certain media abuse Access to Information Act“ is acceptable if most claims for answers are ignored.

It should be reminded that for ten years there have been no regular press conferences of the Government and that more then 50% of ministers have no spokesman.  

We expect regular press conferences to be reinstalled at the President's Office and in The Croatian Government. CJA repeatedly insisted on it. And we insist on high officials and state institutions to stop being selective when it comes to answers to questions put according to Access of Information Act.

Saša Leković, CJA president for CJA Executive Committee

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