The announcement of Minister Zlatko Hasanbegovic that the Ministry of Culture will cease to finance non-profit media and is not so dangerous about the freedom of speech as dangerous to the survival of all internet portals and not just non-profit, current legal solutions that portals discriminate against other media.
And if indeed I agree with the bad practices of my predecessors, then the next step of the Minister of Culture, unless he really intends to interfere with freedom of speech, must be the abolition of a legal provision that imposes on anyone on the internet an understandable tribute to anyone.
It is about the excise tax imposed by the former Kukuriku Government and which internet portal is treated as if it were harmful goods like gasoline and cigarettes. As a rule, rather than as a tribute or excise tax, the legal obligation for every internet portal to pay 0.5 a percentage of its annual commercial income to the Electronic Media Council.
Other media platforms do not have such additional financial obligations towards the state or state bodies.
If the internet portals are fully planning to leave the market then they must also provide legal preconditions to have at least equal treatment on that market with other media.
Why in 2016. the state and local governments and the companies owned by them may, or must, tend to advertise on public procurement only in print media. Why are they in the second half of the second decade of 21. century does not allow this statutory obligation to fill and post ads on internet portals?
These ads have no source of income for the print media, and publishing only two or three such ads cost the state or local government more than the highest annual subsidy portals. When we are talking about savings both for the state and local self-government, such advertising would be far cheaper.
All radio and television stations in Croatia have the right to a share of the TV subscription payable to the Croatian Radio and Television. From the internet portal, this right belongs only to those portals issued by non-profit legal entities.
Commercial portals, unlike commercial television and radio stations, can not participate in "sharing this cake". Why? It's not clear to anyone.
As the legislator discriminates commercial internet portals with respect to nonprofit, he also mentioned President of the Electronic Media Council, Mirjana Rakić, on a performance at Aleksandar Stankovic on Sunday in two shows. However, as her uninterested leader did not make any inquiries on her statement, we could not find out whether she was only practicing or supporting this legal practice.
Internet portals should not be helped by the state to prevent them from robbing and discriminating at the same time.
And that discrimination must stop. How to compare internet portals with other media, as well as in relation to commercial portals towards nonprofits.
This last discrimination has proved to be especially devastating and harmful. As his colleague Nataša Škaričić well noted in his letter to the minister, the media strategy of the former government has been made to make the more difficult the life and business of previous publishers of commercial portals in order to create many small portals that are in the long term unsustainable on their ruins.
This "media strategy" has led to wages and salaries in non-profit media, no matter how small they are, in recent years, higher than in commercial portals.
Thus, the media strategy of the past government was such that it "stimulated" the quality of readers of the read commercial portals to go into their much less read competition.
And the fact is that one text on the Index sees and reads more people than to publish all non-profit media at the same time. Under the motto of strengthening the non-profit media scene, the Ministry of Culture has only successfully reduced the reach of quality texts to the public for the past four years.
Even if the state already wants and plans to distribute subsidies to the portals in the future, then these subsidies without discrimination should primarily be aimed at recruiting journalists in those portals that have succeeded or succeeded in surviving all these years despite the enormous efforts of all the current authorities to close them.
Instead of making life easier for existing journalists' portals, the Ministry of Culture has created and financed unfair competition.
Among other things, former Minister of Culture Berislav Šipuš also decided that some non-profit portals may be freely used for the use of the services of Hina's state news agency. And this service, which is provided free of charge, is another non-profit media, and particularly commercial, too expensive to pay. So much about equality in the work of the former Government.
And then someone else asks why Matija Babić does not like paying taxes ???
Whether he liked it or not, the media and media policy are within the scope of the Ministry of Culture. And from that ministry journalists need not seek or receive charity. They do not need "expert commissions" to approve and evaluate their work. Editors have that.
Everything that journalists and publishers of internet portals need to ask their "respective" ministry and state to stop discriminating against them.
Most of us do not have anything against market or market games. But how do we play when the judge is openly judged for the competition according to the rules set up for them?
It is not a competition but a masochism.
So, ministers, please leave us the market, but edit the market beforehand.