Croatia | Freedom House

Freedom of the Press



Freedom of the Press 2002

2002 Scores

Press Status

Partly Free

Press Freedom Score
(0 = best, 100 = worst)


Political Environment
(0 = best, 40 = worst)


Economic Environment
(0 = best, 30 = worst)


The country's recently elected leaders increasingly expanded the independence of both public and private news media in 2001. Parliament passed legislation to free Croatian Radio and Television (HRT) of political controls. The law turned the broadcaster into a public service corporation, with its director and editor in chief to be chosen in open competition. Nongovernmental associations would appoint 22 of 25 members on the governing council. Parliament also approved turning the HINA, the state news agency, into an independent public institution. A network of independent local television stations competes with state television. In 2000, the constitutional court struck down articles on defamation and libel from the Law on Public Information and the penal code. Reports of defamation cases and other harassment were considerably reduced all year. Croatia has 10 national and regional daily newspapers and 5 main weekly papers. The two largest dailies, Jutarnji List and Vecernji List, boast circulations of about 200,000 copies per day. Nevertheless, even these papers have struggled under the impact of the country's economic crisis.