TV Host Suspended for Critical Show on Government's Sex Ed Programme

Country: Croatia

Date of incident: January 1, 2013

Category: Government Restrictions

Attack against: Morals

Area of case: Media



Ms Karolina Vidović-Krišto, a well-respected journalist with HRT/HTV, was the editor and host of a popular program “Slika Hrvatske”, produced specifically for Croatians living overseas. She was suspended after editing and hosting a show which criticised the government's sex ed programme on December 29, 2012.

When Ms Vidović‐Krišto hosted an episode which critically investigated the government’s new policies on sex education, the topic was widely debated in Croatia.
Željko Zidarić, representative of the „Civic Innovation Incubator“ writes in a complaint to Reporters Without Borders that „the program was well researched, professionally produced and of significant interest to the citizens of Croatia.“
On December 30, 2012, the HRT/HTV publically sanctioned Ms Vidović-­‐Krišto, suspended her from her duties and took the show off their programme.
HRT/HTV made the following statement: “HRT apologizes to viewers of the program Picture of Croatia for yesterday's broadcast by editor and host Karolina Vidović-Krišto. We point out that the opinions expressed in the show are not the opinions of HRT. Due to serious breaches of professional rules and abuse of position, HRT will take strong measures.”
Ms Vidović-Krišto’s programme remains cancelled and she has also lost her position as editor-in-chief. She – along with many Croatians – perceives this to be a violation of her freedom of the media, as well as an attack on the Christian convictions lying behind the criticism of the government’s sex ed programme.
A facebook group in support of Ms Vidović-Krišto gained 25,000 supporters in less than a week.

In an opinion poll Croatian viewers were asked whether they were "shocked by the way the show ‘Picture of Croatia’ dealt with the subject of introducing sex education in Croatian schools?” 84% of online respondents said “Finally, they said what is true.”

Sources:
HTR: www.htr.hr

Youtube video of last episode of ‘Slika Hrvatske’:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TlaCwh2Xtc0 View here the Letter of „Civic Innovation Incubator“ to Reporters Without Borders

“Picture of Croatia” program abruptly taken off HRT’s programming
http://www.vecernji.hr/vijesti/emisija--‐slika--‐hrvatske--‐naglo--‐skinuta--‐programa--‐hrt--‐a--‐clanak--‐49370