Numerous influential Croatian media outlets on Friday joined a campaign against hate speech launched by the Croatian Journalists Association (HND) and the Croatian Journalists Union (SNH), disabling readers' comments below news articles from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m.
The call to join the campaign #zajednobezmrznje (togetherwithouthate) was accepted by the leading dailies Jutarnji List, Slobodna Dalmacija, 24sata, Vecernji List, Novi List, Glas Slavonije and Glas Istre, which earlier in the day announced on their web portals that they would disable comments below all articles for two hours.
The media outlets said they were joining the campaign to point to the problem of hate speech and help launch a debate about it.
The public broadcaster HRT, too, joined in the campaign as did the web portals Telegram, T-portal, Tris, Zagreb.info, the N1 broadcaster, the Serb minority weekly Novosti, the Italian minority daily La Voce del Popolo, local media as well as numerous media and communication experts.
Hate speech spills over from social networks into real world
HND president Hrvoje Zovko said he was exceptionally pleased with the response to the campaign, expresing hope that those outlets which did not participate today would join next time.
SNH leader Maja Sever said that it was exceptionally important to think about and discuss hate speech as well as reach agreement on ways to fight it.
She noted that reporters being targeted was not the only problematic thing, but that also problematic was that insults and threats were becoming normal and common in the public sphere.
The HND and the SNH also called on media outlets to join their campaign #danemanovinara to remind the public why journalism is important and to send them links to news stories that would not have been discovered had it not been for journalists.