by Zdenko MANCE
What are the facts in this case?
Above all, I did not refuse to publish the article by our columnist Jelena Lovric. Both of us, after analyzing the text, concluded that we could publish it only if the source of information were made public. For several reasons. We had already published an article by the same author that used a highly positioned source, which, once we wanted to go deeper in tackling the subject, refused to go public. Secondly, the basis of our editorial policy is to use known and public sources of information. Unfortunately, contrary to the valid law, lately the Croatian media, including our daily, have started increasingly using anonymous sources. Since the source for our article requested to remain anonymous, we decided not to publish the article.
The article was not published because the source requested to remain anonymous and not, as Nacional suggests, because we did not want to get involved in "the fraction-electoral war between Ivic Pasalic and his opponent Ivo Sanader".
Our columnist Jelena Lovric left to a deserved vacation, planned a month before, and her vacation has nothing to do with Nacional's fabrication that she did that in protest against censorship. As our readers can see for themselves, Jelena continues to write for our daily.
Well-informed sources, naturally Nacional's sources, find an explanation for the whole "scandal" in my "frequent meetings with Dr. Pasalic". These "meetings" were used as cue for "massaged" interviews, including the manipulation with the headline of the interview with Zarko Puhovski. Unlike Nacional's director and until recently editor-in-chief Ivo Pukanic, who boasted with his friendship with Ivic Pasalic in front of me as well (I should also perhaps mention that on that occasion he referred to Miroslav Kutle as "my Miro", naturally at the time when such friendships were valuable), fortunately or unfortunately, I have never had a chance to meet the Doctor. I expect that the editors of Nacional prove in the next issue their statements. Otherwise, I'll always be convinced that they are ordinary liars.
Only Nacional can interpret graphic design as a proof of political orientation, probably due to their reliance on graphic design in packaging of their articles [Nacional is infamous for bombastic headlines that have very little to do with the content of the article]. But to use Zarko Puhovski as a proof in this affair with Pasalic is worse than hypocrisy, it clearly shows lack of intelligence. How did Nacional obtain Jelena Lovric's article?
Neither Novi List, as publisher, nor I as editor-in-chief, nor Jelena Lovric as author, passed the article to Nacional. Therefore, how did Nacional obtain Jelena Lovric's article? They stole it, it was sold by someone from our paper? I doubt it, and besides, that would be very hard to do. "Devil" as their secret partner? Very likely, as Nacional's research workshop is well known as an example of investigative journalism. We rightfully expect the answer to our question: how did you get the article, gentlemen?