Media of Croatia

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The media of Croatia refers to mass media outlets based in Croatia. Television, magazines, and newspapers are all operated by both state-owned and for-profit corporations which depend on advertising, subscription, and other sales-related revenues. The Constitution of Croatia guarantees freedom of speech and Croatia ranked 62nd in the 2010 Press Freedom Index report compiled by Reporters Without Borders.[1]

In broadcasting, the government-funded corporation Croatian Radiotelevision (HRT) had a monopoly on nationally aired broadcasting until the late 1990s, although a number of local radio and TV stations began to sprung up since the 1980s. In the years following the fall of communism and the subsequent liberalisation of the media market, HRT was reorganised with its infrastructure branch established as a separate company Transmitters and Communications Ltd (OiV), and a system in which privately owned corporations can acquire renewable broadcast licenses at the national and county levels was adopted. The first national for-profit channel Nova TV thus launched in 2000 and it was joined by RTL four years later in 2004. Both Nova TV and RTL are foreign-owned.

In print media, the market is dominated by the Croatian Europapress Holding and Austrian Styria Media Group companies which publish their flagship dailies Jutarnji list, Večernji list and 24sata. Other widely read national dailies are Novi list and the government-owned Vjesnik. The most popular current affairs weekly is Globus, along with a number of specialised publications, some of which are published by government-sponsored cultural institutions.

In book publishing, the market is dominated by several major publishing houses such as Školska knjiga, Profil, VBZ, Algoritam and Mozaik and the industry's centrepiece event is the Interliber trade fair held annually in Zagreb and open to public.

Croatia's film industry is small in size and heavily assisted by the government, mainly through grants approved by the Ministry of Culture with films often being co-produced by HRT. The ministry also sponsors Pula Film Festival, the annual national film awards, as well as a variety of specialised international film festivals such as Animafest and ZagrebDox, which often feature programs showcasing works by local filmmakers.

History[edit]

Television broadcasting[edit]

Main article: Television in Croatia

Regulation[edit]

The main regulatory body for broadcasting is the government's Electronic Media Agency through its Electronic Media Council (Vijeće za elektroničke medije or VEM), which is in charge of reviewing and granting all television and radio broadcast licenses and ensuring that programming is in line within the legal framework set in the Croatian Parliament's Electronic Media Act. This makes it the local equivalent of similar regulatory agencies such as the Federal Communications Commission in the United States.

Channels[edit]

HRT headquarters at Prisavlje in Zagreb

The principal television station in Croatia is HTV, the television branch of the Croatian Radiotelevision (HRT), which is entirely state-owned and a member of the European Broadcasting Union. It is required by law to promote the Croatian language and provide programming which caters to all social groups in the country, and is mainly funded by a compulsory license fee (collected in monthly installments from all citizens owning a TV set), with additional revenue coming from advertising. HTV currently broadcasts four free-to-air channels available throughout the country (HTV1, HTV2, HTV3 and HTV4 ) HTV channels trace their roots to RTV Zagreb which was established in 1956 as a regional division of Yugoslavia's national broadcaster JRT. Their second channel was launched in 1972 and following the breakup of Yugoslavia in 1990 RTV Zagreb was renamed HTV. Conversely, the channels became HTV1 and HTV2, with HTV3 added in 1994. Although a small number of local stations began operating in the 1980s, HTV had a monopoly on national broadcasting until 2000.

That year HTV3 was shut down and its frequency was taken by the privately owned Nova TV which had won the first public tender for a national-level 10-year broadcast license in 1999.[2] In 2003 a tender for the fourth national channel was offered, and was won by RTL Televizija, the Croatian subsidiary of the Bertelsmann-owned RTL Group, which came on air in 2004. After competing in the 2003 tender and losing to RTL, the media company Central European Media Enterprises bought Nova TV in August 2004 for 24 million.[2][3] In April 2010 Nova TV's license was renewed for another 15 years.[3]

In addition, in September 2010 the Electronic Media Council granted two new 15-year broadcast licenses in a tender for specialised nationally aired channels, won by Nova TV and RTL. The two new channels (Doma TV and RTL2) are expected to launch by Christmas 2010, and licenses alone will cost them HRK 450,000 (circa 60,000) per year.[4]

Apart from the nationally aired channels, there is a number of regional and local television stations which lease county-level licenses. Although they are all privately owned, they are also in part state-funded as the Electronic Media Act stipulates that a percentage of HRT license fees collected from citizens must be invested into the development of local media outlets through Electronic Media Agency's Fund for Promoting Pluralism and Diversification of Electronic Media (Fond za poticanje pluralizma i raznovrsnosti elektroničkih medija). In 2009, the fund granted a total of HRK 31.4 million (4.3 million) or 3 percent of license fees collected, to 21 local TV channels and 147 radio stations.[5] In 2010 the largest individual grant among television stations was received by VTV, a local channel based in Varaždin (HRK 1.1 million), while Radio Istra, a local station covering Istria, was the largest radio recipient with HRK 182,000.[5]

Local stations with the biggest viewership and budgets are generally the ones based in large and medium-sized cities, such as OTV and Z1 stations in Zagreb, STV and TV Jadran in Split, ČKTV in Čakovec, RiTV in Rijeka, etc.

Cable television[edit]

Cable television (CATV) is also a popular method of programming delivery in Croatia, and is available in several large cities throughout the country. The biggest cable provider is B.net, established in 2007, which is available in Osijek, Rijeka, Solin, Split, Velika Gorica, Zadar and Zagreb. As of 2010 some 250,000 households are subscribed to B.net's cable packages.[6] Internet protocol television (IPTV) is also gaining ground in recent years, with most ISPs offering a wide selection of channels very similar to cable packages.

A basic cable or IPTV package in Croatia traditionally includes:

  • major Croatian channels (HTV1, HTV2, HTV3, HTV4, Nova TV and RTL)
  • a mix of major networks from neighbouring countries (Bosnian OBN, FTV and Hayat, Serbian RTS SAT, Slovenian SLO1 and SLO2, Italian Rai 1 and Rai 2, Austrian ORF1 and ORF2)
  • a selection of local TV stations (OTV, Z1, ČKTV, STV, TV Jadran, etc.)

Digital conversion[edit]

Analogue terrestrial television was switched off in Croatia on 5 October 2010 for national TV stations, although some local stations still broadcast analogue signal. HRT first started transmitting in digital programming in 1997 (in DVB-S) and has since entirely switched its TV channels (HTV1, HTV2, HTV3 and HTV4), and three radio stations (HR1, HR2 and HR3) to digital format. The DVB-T format was first introduced in early 2002. The nine nationally broadcast free-to-air channels (HTV1, HTV2,HTV3, HTV4, RTL, Nova TV...) were carried via a network of nine main transmitters built by the state-owned company Transmitters and Communications Ltd (Odašiljači i veze or OiV; formerly a branch of HRT), completed in 2007 and covering about 70 percent of the country. The analogue switch-off process took place gradually region by region during 2010, starting with Istria and Rijeka in January and ending with Zagreb on 5 October 2010 when the entire country was converted to the DVB-T digital format.

Radio broadcasting[edit]

Croatia is served by a large number of radio stations, with eight channels being broadcast on a national level. Four of these are operated by HRT (HR1, HR2, HR3 and Glas Hrvatske), in addition to two religious channels (the Croatian Catholic Radio (Hrvatski katolički radio or HKR) and Radio Marija) and two for-profit privately owned stations (Otvoreni Radio and Narodni Radio).

Print media[edit]

There are several major daily newspapers in Croatia, including Jutarnji list, Večernji list, Slobodna Dalmacija, and Novi list. In addition to these there are several regional dailies which are available throughout the country even though they mainly present regionally focused content. Examples of these are Glas Istre, Glas Slavonije, Zadarski list, Dubrovački vjesnik, etc.

There are also several specialized dailies. Sportske novosti and SportPlus provide sports coverage, while Business.hr and Poslovni dnevnik cover financial and business-related topics.

The most popular weekly news magazine is Globus. The Archdiocese of Zagreb also publishes Glas Koncila, a weekly magazine dedicated to presenting a Catholic perspective on current events and widely distributed in churches. Vijenac and Zarez are the two most influential bi-weekly magazines covering arts and culture. In addition, there is a wide selection of Croatian editions of international monthlies, such as Cosmopolitan, Elle, Grazia, Men's Health, National Geographic, GEO, Le Monde diplomatique, Playboy, Reader's Digest and Forbes.

Publishing[edit]

Internet[edit]

Main article: Internet in Croatia

The Internet country code top-level domain for Croatia is .hr and is administered by CARNet (Croatian Academic and Research Network). Registrants are classified into a number of different groups with varying rules of domain registrations. Some verifiable form of connection to Croatia - such as being a Croatian citizen or a permanent resident, or a company registered in the country - is common to all of the categories except for the .com.hr subdomain. Third level domains (example.com.hr) are allowed to be registered by anyone in the world as long as they provide a local contact.

As of September 2011 the most visited .hr websites are the Croatian version of Google followed by news websites Net.hr and Index.hr and online editions of printed dailies Jutarnji list and 24sata.[7]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Press Freedom Index 2010". Reporters Without Borders. Retrieved 13 November 2010. 
  2. ^ a b Vejnović, Saša (1 June 2009). "Komercijalne televizije mogle bi izgubiti postojeće programske koncesije". Poslovni dnevnik (in Croatian). Retrieved 13 November 2010. 
  3. ^ a b "Novoj TV koncesija za još 15 godina". Business.hr (in Croatian). 14 April 2010. Retrieved 13 November 2010. 
  4. ^ Matijević, Božena (13 September 2010). "Ramljak: RTL i Nova TV dobili su kanale za reciklažu već viđenog". Večernji list (in Croatian). Retrieved 13 November 2010. 
  5. ^ a b "Poticanje pluralizma: 31,4 milijuna kuna radio i TV postajama". Dnevnik.hr (in Croatian) (Nova TV). 19 July 2010. Retrieved 13 November 2010. 
  6. ^ "B.net" (in Croatian). B.net. Retrieved 13 November 2010. 
  7. ^ "Top Sites in Croatia". Alexa Internet. Retrieved 11 September 2011. 

External links[edit]