The "secondary sources" which the author has used consist, mainly, of the articles by Slavenka Drakulic, Vesna Kesic and Dubravka Ugresic published in German papers and the reports on Feral Tribune in Tagesspiel and Tageszeitung. Author also quotes the article by our well known journalist, Danko Plevnik, published on 3/19/93 in Frankfunter Rundschau, in which Plevnik stated that the struggle for freedom of press had been lost in Split after the resistance of the journalists against the power of Franjo Tudman over Croatian media had been crushed. The answer to the reader's question about why the author didn't also use "primary sources", about which he strives to make a judgment, is that he doesn't speak Croatian and didn't use translator's services. The author's logical abilities probably aren't particularly strong, since he claims that in a certain country there is no freedom of press because, supposedly, only two papers are independent of the state censorship.
In the program, "Europe today", which BBC broadcasted on 8/22 in English throughout the world, the editor interviewed Drago Hedl, who was introduced as a former editor of the satirical paper Feral Tribune. On that occasion, Hedl stated that in Croatia, radio and TV were controlled by the state, that there was no freedom of press, with few exceptions, among which Feral Tribune was the most important; he also stated that the continuation of the triumphalism in connection with the success of the operation "Storm" could lead to the oppression of the non-Croatian population, and that even the most important opposition party [HSLS, Croatian Liberals] was forced to applaud the operation "storm" and say that the operation was a "big" victory since otherwise that party would have been proclaimed to be traitorous; finally he claimed that the Croatian government obstructed the return of Serbs to Croatia. BBC considered the interview so interesting that it rebroadcasted the interview the following morning.
I don't intend to say that in Croatia the freedom of media, especially television, is always on the level of the rights proclaimed in the constitution, that the editors and correspondents sometimes don't succumb to the well known self defense mechanism of autocensorship and that the owners of the papers don't try to give the general direction to the editorial policy of their papers, sometimes because of the political poltroonery, but mostly because of their party affiliations. But that is nothing new; this is done in other democratic countries, somewhere with more and somewhere with less success. Just try to publish an anti-Semitic article in Der Spiegel or try to criticize Churchill in Daily Telegraph!
How can our young student from Berlin and other foreign readers know that a good part of slanderers of everything Croatian abroad are former udbasi [UDBA, Yugoslav counterintelligence service], yugomaniacs, people who spied on their colleagues, communist politician's lackeys, salon callporters of "humanist marxism" who, because of their political "shouting" led comfortable lives and traveled on state expense to congresses and summer schools, great committee inquisitors, bull terriers and a few members of the former regime scum?
The majority of those simply cannot stand anything Croatian, so that even a mention of a word Croat gives them hepatitis. They don't care that Croatia was during both Yugoslavias [royalist Yugoslavia, 1918-1941, and Communist Yugoslavia, 1945-1990], according to Krleza [Miroslav Krleza, greatest contemporary Croatian writer], "an annexed western province, object and a sphere of interest of Serbian business" ["prisajedinjena precanska provincija, objekt i interesna sfera carsije"]. It never occured to these todays lyricists of Tito's Yugoslavia, to raise their voice in defense of human rights of those who couldn't perform any more important state function, from a judge to a paper editor and even a president of a hunting society, only because they attended church. Not knowing these personal data, foreigners, obviously cannot distinguish between envious hissings of these spiritual monsters who in the former regime lived of the blood taxes of the second rate citizens and acquired jobs and positions of power by denouncing their more honest and qualified colleagues, and justified criticism by those whose lives during the communist regime were a reprimand to the authorities and who continue today to point out that the change of the state coat of arms doesn't automatically change people.
It is time to give this task to capable and honorable people, who, thank God, can be found among Croats, both in Croatia and abroad, instead of giving it to the incapable political servants without knowledge.