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Meeting Held with Representative of Media Organizations at the Headquarters of the Croatian Conference of Bishops

Zagreb (IKA)

On Thursday, January 17, at the initiative of the Archbishop and Metropolitan of Rijeka, Msgr. Ivan Devčić, President of the Committee of the Croatian Conference of Bishops for the Mass Media, a meeting was held at the headquarters of the Croatian Conference of Bishops in Zagreb between representative of the Croatian Catholic Network and representatives of other electronic and print media organizations.

The purpose of the meeting was to present the Croatian Catholic Network and foster connections with representatives of other media organizations. The following media organizations were integrated into the Croatian Catholic Network last summer: Croatian Catholic Radio, Croatian Catholic Press Agency—IKA—Zagreb, the web portal www.hkm.hr, and social media (Facebook, Instagram and Twitter).

Archbishop Devčić spoke about the goal that Jesus entrusted to his disciples, to go out into the whole world and proclaim his Word, and make disciples of other people. This goal is also shared by the Catholic media and journalists. Archbishop Devčić urged continued meetings and networking, and noted that the media provide a means for enhancing spiritual cohesion.

The head of the Croatian Catholic Network, Msgr. Fabijan Svalina, said that the CCN aspires to encourage cooperation among the Church media to make them more productive. Presenting the results achieved by the CCN during the past months, he noted that there is evident synergy among the Croatian Conference of Bishops, Croatian Catholic Radio and the Croatian Catholic Press Agency—IKA, which is particularly evident in a new area where the official Church is now present with renewed momentum: the social media. He announced plans for a new television studio within the framework of the Croatian Catholic Network. “By nurturing our individuality, each in one’s own medium, through network cooperation we can extend the lifetimes of some news stories and contribute to keeping particular stories in the news,” said Msgr. Svalina.

The editor-in-chief of the Croatian Catholic Network, Siniša Kovačić, told his colleagues in other media organizations that the key message of this meeting was to foster relationships and cooperation: “Aware of all the potentials, contents and possibilities, we wish to send the message that every bit of cooperation is important to us so that we can speak about a network.” He also mentioned the results achieved thus far: modernization of the IKA website and its large readership, and a test CCN website to report on events from the living Church that are not part of the hierarchical structure but deserve media attention. “At a time in journalism when it is important to be first with negative news, we can boast that covering positive topics is our first priority,” said Kovačić. He particularly praised the work of Catholic journalists in general because they are the “guardians of the profession of journalism” and, therefore, “we want to be at the forefront of maintaining journalism as a profession.” The leadership of the Croatian Catholic Network wants to continue to incorporate Catholic media organizations, which retain their independence institutionally.

Since Catholic journalists are called to solidarity, at the meeting they were urged to provide support to Radio Maria Serbia, which is the only radio station in the Republic of Serbia broadcasting in the Croatian language. Namely, the World Family of Radio Maria from Italy is no longer in a position to support them because it is expanding to other continents. Therefore, the director and editor, Msgr. Dr. Andrija Anišić, has asked his colleagues for help to keep this radio station in operation: “If we do not secure some kind of assistance for the only radio station in the Croatian language and with a Catholic program [in Serbia], we shall be forced to shut it down!”

Representatives of the following media organizations accepted the invitation to attend this meeting: Bitno.net, Glas Koncila, Veritas—glasnik sv. Antuna Padovanskog, Kvarnerski vez, Laudato.tv, Radio MIR Međugorje, List Srijemske biskupije „Nada”, portal Žena vrsna, Croatian Radio—Religious Program and the Croatian Association of Catholic Journalists.