CJA is especially shuddered by banality of dismissal’s explanation in the first case and threat by dismissal in the second case. Tatjana Gromača, namely, was informed, after long-lasting work for Novi list, that her service is no longer needed as she lived in Pula, where Novi list had Glas Istre journalists and Novi list could take over their articles. But Gromača had never been tied or limited to local stories; she offered the public bigger perspective, not even strictly journalistic but artistic and critical views.
Suggested dismissal to Maja Hrgović was stipulated by her acceptance of agreement to become editor of Novi list portal after she had spent 13 years as journalist specialized in culture in Novi list. CJA does not want to undervalue colleagues working at Novi list portal in any respect, but acceptance of that working position would mean for Maja Hrgović to stop publishing her own articles dealing with culture and start publishing somebody else’s; that did not strike us as professional benefit for Novi list newsroom.
Novi list Trade Union expressed negative opinion about suggested dismissal to Maja Hrgović notifying that the decision to shift her to portal editor’s position was not based on law as there is still no systematization of working positions. That automatically means that employee actually cannot be dismissed on the ground of not taking new suggested working position (legally not existing).
CJA wants to draw attention to intolerable and shocking ease of the media management to give up or wanting to give up its best journalists who had been exceptional in their work and whose social and writers’ achievements upgraded Novi list, its prestige and influence. It is known that Novi list columnist Ladislav Tomičić was in the same position as Maja Hrgović, forced to accept working for novi list portal instead of usual work in Novi list daily. He was too threatened by dismissal. Boris Pavelić, prominent Novi list journalist, also experienced that threat. Having that in mind it is clear that here we are dealing with inadmissible pattern of silencing disobedient, critical and influential journalists and that is, of course, against all postulates of journalistic profession, of Novi list public and Novi list itself.
CJA therefore call upon Novi list management to revise its decision and protect its journalists and journalistic profession. CJA will inform European federation of Journalist and all international organizations dealing with journalists’ and media freedom about these cases.
Saša Leković, CJA president